Timeline Kiribati

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1798        Edmund Fanning, an American explorer, 1st charted Tabuaeran coral atoll (part of the Gilbert Islands). Fanning Island Plantations Ltd. owned the island through the 1800s and exported coconuts.
    (SSFC, 4/21/02, p.C22)
1892-1937     The Gilbert Islands (Kiribati Islands) were amalgamated as British possessions.
    (WSJ, 1/22/96, p.A-1)

1937        Jul 2, Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan left Lae in Papua, New Guinea and disappeared over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to make the first round-the-world flight at the equator. The two had set out in Earhart's twin-engine Lockheed Electra, taking off from Oakland, Calif., for Miami on May 21. They flew across the Atlantic from Brazil to Africa, then reached Calcutta on June 17, having made 15 stops thus far. They failed to arrive at their scheduled stop at Howland Island. Radio operators received messages from Earhart saying that they had to be close and were circling, searching for land, but radio contact was lost and the two were never heard from again. Noonan was alcoholic and had been on a binge the night before. Radioman Leo Bellarts was the last person to communicate with Earhart. Errors from the US Coast Guard cutter Itasca were later identified as contributing to the disappearance.
    (SFC, 3/1/97, p.A8) (SFC, 5/20/97, p.A12) (AP, 7/2/97) (SFEC, 7/6/97, p.B10) (HNPD, 7/2/99)(SFC, 7/1/00, p.A1,11)

1940        British soldiers found bones on Gardner Island, later renamed Nikumaroro Island, in Kiribati that they suspected might be the remains of Amelia Earhart. A report identifying the remains as those of a male was forwarded to England but not to America. In 1998 the bones were identified as belonging to a woman about 5 foot 7, of northern European extraction.
    (SFC, 12/2/98, p.A4)

1942        Aug 17, Marine Raiders attacked Makin Island (Kiribati) in the Gilbert Islands from two submarines. [see Aug 18]
    (HN, 8/17/98)

1942        Aug 18, Carlson's Raiders landed on Makin (Kiribati) in the Gilbert islands and killed 350 Japanese. [see Aug 17]
    (MC, 8/18/02)

1943        Nov 20, US Marines began landing on Tarawa and Makin atolls in the Gilbert Islands, encountering fierce resistance from Japanese forces but emerging victorious three days later. The US 2nd marine division invaded the tiny isle of Betio on Tarawa Atoll in the Gilberts. It was the first seriously opposed landing experienced by the Americans in WWII. After 3 days 1,027 US Marine and Navy personnel were killed. Of some 4,800 Japanese and Korean laborers on Betio, 146 survived, including 17 Japanese troops. In 2006 John Wukovits authored One Square Mile Of Hell.
    (AP, 11/20/05)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Tarawa)(AH, 6/07, p.72)
1943        Nov 20, US Marine cinematographer Norman Hatch (1921-2017) began filming much of the 76-hour battle for the island of Tarawa. The film was edited and made into a 20-minute documentary: With the Marines at Tarawa. In 1945 the film received an Academy Award for best short documentary.
    (https://archive.org/details/WiththeMarinesatTarawa)(SFC, 4/28/17, p.D8)

1943        Nov 23, During World War II US forces seized control of the Tarawa and Makin atolls from the Japanese. Makin Atoll, part of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands, was the first central Pacific island to be reconquered by the Allies. More than 900 US marines and 30 sailors were killed in the battle for Tarawa.
    (AP, 11/23/97)(SFC, 1/26/98, p.A17)(SFC, 12/16/19, p.A6)

1956        The British administrator of the Gilbert Islands put a levy on the export of phosphates (bird manure) used in fertilizer. By 2007 the money set aside had developed into the Kiribati Revenue Equalization Reserve Fund, a $250 million investment portfolio that had grown to 9 times the atolls GDP. State-owned investments later developed around the world and became recognized as sovereign wealth funds.
    (Econ, 5/26/07, p.79)

1971        Australia joined with New Zealand and 14 independent of self-governing island nations to form the South Pacific Forum. The name was changed in 2000 to Pacific Islands Forum. Member states include: Australia, the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. Since 2006, associate members territories are New Caledonia and French Polynesia. In 2011 Guam, the Northern Marianas and American Samoa became associate members.
    (Econ, 10/20/07, p.61)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_Islands_Forum)(Econ., 2/13/21, p.41)

1979         Jul 12, The Gilbert Islands gained independence from Britain and became a nation, the Archipelago of Kiribati. It is a chain of 35 islands that sprawls 1,860 miles from east to west. Fanning Island was renamed to Tabuaeran. Kiribati began using the Australia dollar for its currency.
    (www.worldstatesmen.org/Kiribati.htm)(SFC, 7/1/97, p.A9)(SSFC, 4/21/02, p.C22)(Econ, 9/13/14, p.84)

1994        Te Buroro Tito was elected president of Kiribati.
    (WSJ, 1/22/96, p.A-1)

1995        Jan 1, Teburoro Tito, the incoming president of Kiribati, moved the International Date Line a thousand miles east around Kiribati to allow all of its 33 atolls to be line the same time zone. Thus the atoll of Kirimati never experienced Dec 31, 1994.
    (SSFC, 12/17/06, p.G5)

1996        Kiribati moved a section of the date line so that its boundaries would all share the same day.
    (WSJ, 1/22/96, p.A-1)

1997        In Kiribati the El Nino weather system caused heavy rains and flooding on Kiritimati (Christmas Island).
    (Econ, 3/12/15, p.38)

1999        Mar 6, It was reported that state of emergency had been declared after a prolonged drought nearly exhausted the underground fresh water supply of the 81,000 inhabitants.
    (SFC, 3/6/99, p.A8)

1999        Jun 18, Kiribati reported that the islands of Tebua Tarawa and Abanuea were swallowed by the Pacific Ocean.
    (SFC, 6/18/99, p.A14)

2001        Jul, Kiribati joined the United Nations. The population was 94,149.
    (SFC, 11/17/01, p.A13)

2003        Nov 29, China said it broke diplomatic relations with Kiribati after the tiny Pacific island nation opened ties with rival Taiwan.
    (AP, 11/29/03)

2006        Mar 28, President Anote Tong of the Republic of Kiribati announced the formation of the world's third-largest marine reserve at the 8th UN conference on the Convention on Biological Diversity under way this week in Brazil.
    (Reuters, 3/28/06)

2007        Kiribati decided to turn half of its waters in the uninhabited Phoenix Islands into a 160,000-square-mile-reserve.
    (SFC, 4/11/09, p.A3)

2010        Aug 2, UNESCO added 6 sites located in Brazil, China, Mexico, France's Reunion Island and the South Pacific nation of Kiribati to World Heritage status.
    (AP, 8/2/10)

2012        Mar 9, Kiribati President Anote Tong said that his Cabinet this week endorsed a plan to buy nearly 6,000 acres on Fiji's main island, Viti Levu. He said the fertile land, being sold by a church group for about $9.6 million, could provide an insurance policy for Kiribati's entire population of 103,000, though he hopes it will never be necessary for everyone to leave.
    (AP, 3/9/12)

2013        May, Kiribati Pres. Anote Tong acknowledged that commercial fishing was still taking place in 97% of the Phoenix Islands Protected Area because no agreement has been reached with Conservation Intl. on payment for lost fishing revenues. The 158,000 square mile preserved was created in 2008.
    (SFC, 6/14/13, p.A8)

2013        The population of Kiribati was about 103,248.
    (SFC, 6/14/13, p.A8)

2014        Sep 20, Kiribati President Anote Tong ended a Greenpeace-organized tour of glaciers in Norway's Svalbard Archipelago, a trip he said left a deep impression that he would share with world leaders at a UN climate summit next week in New York.
    (AP, 9/20/14)

2014        Kiribati President Anote Tong used nearly $7m of government money to buy 6,000 acres in Fiji.
    (Econ, 3/12/15, p.38)

2015        Mar 14, Residents in Vanuatu hunkered in emergency shelters for a second straight night after venturing out to find their homes damaged or blown away by Cyclone Pam. 24 people were later confirmed killed with 3,300 left homeless and nearly half the 300,000 population impacted. The cyclone had already caused damage to other Pacific islands, including Kiribati and the Solomon Islands.
    (AP, 3/14/15)(SFC, 3/16/15, p.A2)(Reuters, 3/17/15)(CSM, 3/18/15)(AFP, 5/18/19)

2015        Aug 13, President Anote Tong of the low-lying Pacific island nation of Kiribati called for a global moratorium on new coal mines to slow global warming and a creeping rise in world sea levels.
    (Reuters, 8/13/15)

2016        Mar 9, Kiribati opposition candidate Taaneti Mamau won the presidential election.
    (Econ, 3/12/16, p.38)

2016        Nov 18, The island nation of Kiribati established a large shark sanctuary that will help ensure the creatures are protected across much of the central Pacific. Palau established the first shark sanctuary in the region in 2009, and has been followed by the Marshall Islands, French Polynesia and other nations.
    (AP, 11/19/16)

2016        The population of Kiribati was about 111,000.
    (Econ, 3/12/16, p.38)

2018        Jan 20, A 17-meter (56 foot) ferry with 50 people on board was reported missing two days after it departed Nonouti Island on a 250 km (155 mile) trip to Betio in Kiribati. On Jan. 28 seven survivors from the ferry were found adrift in a dinghy by a New Zealand search plane.
    (Reuters, 1/28/18)

2018        Nov 20, Interpol's general assembly, meeting in Dubai, voted against allowing Kosovo to join the international police agency. The bids of Pacific island nations Kiribati and Vanuatu were approved by delegates, but Kosovo did not secure the required two-thirds majority.
    (AFP, 11/20/18)

2018        The population of Kiribati was about 108,000.
    (SFC, 1/29/18, p.A4)

2019        Sep 20, Kiribati severed ties with Taiwan, switching its diplomatic allegiance to China in the second such defection in a week.
    (The Telegraph, 9/20/19)

2020        Jan 6, Chinese President Xi Jinping lauded Kiribati for standing on the right side of history during his first meeting with the Pacific island nation's leader since it severed ties with Taiwan.
    (AP, 1/6/20)

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