Timeline Marshall Islands (The Republic of the Marshall Islands)

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Lying in Micronesia the group is composed of 31 coral atolls in the Ratak and Ralik island chains. Some 63,000 people are scattered over 180 sq. miles of land. Some 1,225 islets clustered into 20 coral atolls strewn across 750,000 square miles make up the Marshall Islands.
 (SFC, 12/27/96, p.A24)(SFC, 7/18/98, p.A1)(SFC, 3/8/99, p.A12)

1914-1919    The Marshall Islands were occupied by the Japanese during WW I.
    (SFC, 12/27/96, p.A24)

1939-1945    The Marshall islands were captured by US forces during WW II.
    (SFC, 12/27/96, p.A24)

1940s-1950s    The US conducted 67 above ground nuclear and thermonuclear tests in the Marshall Islands.
    (SFC, 12/7/99, p.A10)

1942        Feb 1, Planes of the U.S. Pacific fleet attacked Japanese bases in the Marshall and Gilbert Islands.
    (HN, 2/1/99)

1943        Dec 8, U.S. carriers sank two cruisers and down 72 planes in the Marshall Islands.
    (HN, 12/8/98)

1944        Jan 31, During World War II, U.S. forces under Vice Adm. Spruance began invading Kwajalein Atoll and other parts of the Japanese-held Marshall Islands.
    (AP, 1/31/98)(HN, 1/31/99)

1944        Feb 1, U.S. Army troops invaded two Kwajalein Islands in the Pacific. [see Jan 31]
    (HN, 2/1/99)

1944        Feb 17, U.S forces landed on Eniwetok atoll in the South Pacific Marshall Islands. Battle of Eniwetok Atoll began. US victory on Feb 22.
    (HN, 2/17/99)(MC, 2/17/02)

1944        Feb 20, US took Eniwetok Island.
    (MC, 2/20/02)

1944        Jun 11, US carrier-based planes attacked Japanese airfields on Guam, Rota, Saipan and Tinian islands, preparing for the invasion of Saipan. US naval and air bombardments lasted from 11–13 June 1944, involving 216 carrier aircraft and land-based B-24 bombers from the Marshall Islands.
    (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Guam_(1944))(HN, 6/11/99)

1944        Oct 28, The first B-29 Superfortress bomber mission flew from the airfields in the Mariana Islands in a strike against the Japanese base at Turk [Truk].
    (HN, 10/28/98)

1945-1986    The Marshall Islands were ruled by the US  as part of a UN trusteeship.
    (SFC, 12/7/99, p.A10)

1946-1958    The US conducted 67 nuclear test blasts at the Bikini and Eniwetok atolls over this period. The tests in the northern Marshall Islands released radioactive iodine said to be 150 times worse than the contamination from Chernobyl in 1986. A Nuclear Claims Tribunal was later set up by the government of the US and the Marshall Islands to compensate those displaced or suffering health problems due to the tests. The 150 million dollars the US provided for paying settlements ran out in 2005. The US State Department said there is no obligation to pay more.
    (SFC, 3/8/99, p.A16)(Econ, 1/12/08, p.38)(AFP, 12/12/08)

1952         Nov 1, The United States exploded the first hydrogen bomb, codenamed "Ivy Mike," in a test at Eniwetok in the Marshall Islands. The element einsteinium was discovered in the debris of the 1st hydrogen bomb test. In 2002 Greg Herken authored "Brotherhood of the Bomb: the Tangled Lives and Loyalties of Robert Oppenheimer, Ernest Lawrence and Edward Teller."
    (AP, 11/1/07)(NH, 7/02, p.35)(SSFC, 10/12/02, p.M1)

1954        Mar 1, The Bravo hydrogen bomb test exploded across Bikini atoll (Marshall Islands) with the force of 1,000 Hiroshima bombs. A Nuclear Claims Tribunal, established in 1986, later awarded Bikini and Enewetak 500 million dollars but only a fraction of the amount was received. A Nov 30, 2004, deadline limited further suits.
    (AP, 10/17/04)(www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/bomb/peopleevents/pandeAMEX51.html)
1954        Mar 1, The No. 5 Fukuryu-maru was trolling for tuna off the Bikini atoll in the Pacific during the Bravo hydrogen bomb test. 11 crew members died in the half-century since the exposure, at least six of them from liver cancer. Between 1946 and 1958, the United States conducted 66 nuclear tests at Bikini as part of "Operation Crossroads."
    (AP, 2/28/04)

1954        Mar 26, The U.S. set off the second H-bomb blast in four weeks in the Marshall Islands at Bikini Island. The 15-megaton device was 750 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The blast contaminated the neighboring island of Rongelap and nearly 100 people on the island and other downwind atolls.
    (HN, 3/25/98)(SFC, 12/7/99, p.A10)(SS, 3/26/02)

1958        Apr 28, The United States conducted the first of 35 nuclear test explosions in the Pacific Proving Ground as part of Operation Hardtack I.
    (AP, 4/28/08)(http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Usa/Tests/Hardtack1.html)

1958        May 6, The US "Cactus" bomb test was relatively small, but it left a lasting legacy for the Marshall Islands in a dome-shaped radioactive dump. It was built two decades after the blast in the Pacific Ocean region. The US military filled the bomb crater on Runit island with radioactive waste, capped it with concrete, and told displaced residents of the Pacific's remote Enewetak atoll they could safely return home. The 45-cm (18-inch) thick concrete dome later developed cracks.
    (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Hardtack_I)(AFP, 5/26/19)

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.
    (Econ, 10/20/07, p.61)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_Islands_Forum)

1972        Amata Kabua (1928-1996) founded and led the Political Movement for the Marshall Islands Separation from Micronesia.
    (SFC, 12/27/96, p.A24)

1978        The Marshallese voted for independence from other districts of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.
    (SFC, 12/27/96, p.A24)(www.unicover.com/OPUBA565.HTM)

1978        Doctors ordered a 2nd evacuation from Bikini due to high radiation.
    (SFC, 12/7/99, p.A12)

1979        May 1, The people of the Marshall Islands ratified their own constitution and the constitutional government came into being. In recognition of the evolving political status of the Marshall Islands, the US recognized the constitution of the Marshall Islands and the establishment of the Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Mr. Amata Kabua  (1928-1996) became the first president.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amata_Kabua)(www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/26551.htm)

1979        Jul, Imata Kabua led a protest against US operations in the Marshall Islands.
    (SFC, 3/8/99, p.A16)

1983        The Marshall Islands received $183.7 million for the 1946-1958 US nuclear tests near Bikini.
    (AP, 2/28/04)

1986        Oct 21, The US, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands formed a Compact of Free Association (CFA). Tens of millions in economic benefits along with security and defense of the islands was exchanged for the right to deny access to third countries. The US paid $270 million in compensation to nuclear victims under the 1st phase of the CFA (1986-2001), insisting that was a full and final arrangement.
    (SFC, 3/8/99, p.A16)(SFC, 1/4/00, p.A12)(Econ, 1/12/08, p.38)

1986        The Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia were granted independence.
    (SFC, 1/4/00, p.A12)

1991        Sep 17, The U.N. General Assembly opened its 46th session, welcoming new members Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, North and South Korea, the Marshall Islands and Micronesia.
    (AP, 9/17/01)

1996        Dec 19, Pres. Amata Kabua died.
    (SFC, 12/27/96, p.A24)

1998        Jul 17, Rising seawater was attacking the coastline of the islands.
    (SFC, 7/18/98, p.A1)

1999        Jan 31, Phillip Muller, the foreign minister, said his government would seek a rent increase from the US for the use of the Kwajalein Atoll, the only place where the US was able to test long range components of its missile defense program.
    (SFC, 3/8/99, p.A16)(SFC, 1/4/00, p.A12)

2001        Dec 3, A test US anti-missile launched from Kwajalein atoll in the Marshall Islands successfully hit a dummy warhead from Vandenberg Air Base in California, 4,800 miles away.
    (SFC, 12/4/01, p.A4)

2001        A 15 year lease by the US for Kwajalein Atoll was due to expire.
    (SFC, 3/8/99, p.A12)

2001        US payments under the Compact of Free Association were scheduled to end.
    (SFC, 1/4/00, p.A12)

2003        The Marshall Islands renegotiated its Compact of Free Association (CFA) with the US. America insisted on a separate agreement giving it continued access to its $4 billion missile defense site on Kwajalein until at least 2066 for $15 million a year, rising to $18 million after 2014.
    (Econ, 1/12/08, p.37)

2005        Feb 15, The Guam-based Citizens Security Bank (CSB) ended credit card and other services to the Bank of Marshall Islands. Residents of the Marshall Islands will be unable to use their credit cards after the central Pacific nation's leading bank was cut off from a US partner by the anti-terrorist Patriot Act.
    (AFP, 2/10/05)

2007        Mar 20, The second flight of Space Exploration Technologies' (SpaceX) low-cost Falcon 1 rocket reached 200 miles altitude but did not make it to orbit due to the premature shutdown of its second-stage Kestrel engine. SpaceX launched the two-stage Falcon 1 rocket from its Omelek Island launch site in the Marshall Islands, but the rocket failed to reach its intended 425-mile (685-kilometer) orbit due to a roll control glitch.
    (http://spaceflightnow.com/falcon/f2/)

2007        Sep 13, In the Marshall Islands legislation was introduced aiming to open up the communications sector by removing the telecom agency's exclusive rights. This was likely to become an issue ahead of national elections in November.
    (AFP, 9/16/07)

2008        Jan 7, Voters in the Marshall Islands ditched the pro-American administration led by Kessai Note and elected a government backed by disgruntled chiefs and senators from the nuclear-affected atolls.
    (Econ, 1/12/08, p.37)

2008        Dec 25, The Marshall Islands declared a state of emergency after severe flooding, that occurred from Dec. 9 to Dec. 15, forced more than 600 people from their homes.
    (AP, 12/26/08)

2008        About 62,000 inhabited the Marshall Islands.
    (AP, 12/26/08)

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 shipping.
    (www.unmultimedia.org/tv/unifeed/d/13476.html)

2009        Oct 8, Former Marshall Islands president and powerful traditional chief Imata Kabua said he was challenging the treaty negotiated between the Marshall Islands government and the US covering the years after 2016 when the current lease for the missile base expires. The Compact of Free Association between the two countries approved in 2003 provides the US with use of the Reagan Test Site at Kwajalein Atoll until 2066.
    (AFP, 10/9/09)

2009        Oct 26, In the Marshall Islands traditional chief Jurelang Zedkaia was elected president by a slender 17-15 margin, replacing Litokwa Tomeing who was ousted in a no-confidence vote last week.
    (AP, 10/26/09)

2010        Jan 30, In the Marshall Islands the government considered invoking special powers of quarantine as an outbreak of drug-resistant tuberculosis has been declared a public health emergency.
    (AP, 1/30/10)

2010        Jul 23, The Marshall Islands region of Ebeye, which has the unflattering reputation as the "slum of the Pacific" has now been damned in a US Army report as a health threat to residents.
    (AFP, 7/23/10)

2010        Jul 31, UNESCO added seven cultural sites to its World Heritage List including Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, home to nuclear bomb testing in the 1940s and 1950s. Also added to the list were the Turaif District in Saudi Arabia; Australia's penal colony sites; the Jantar Mantar astronomical observation site in India; a shrine in Ardabil in Iran; the Tabriz historic bazaar complex, also in Iran; and the historic villages of Hahoe and Yangdong in South Korea.
    (AP, 8/1/10)

2011        May 11, The United States signed a deal with the Marshall Islands to continue using the key missile testing range at Kwajalein Atoll through to 2066.
    (AP, 5/11/11)

2013        Sep 3, Leaders of Pacific nations gathered in Majuro, Marshall Islands, for their annual Pacific Islands Forum (PIF). Marshall Islands Pres. Christopher Loeak hoped to drum up support for a “Majuro declaration” on climate change. 
    (Econ, 8/31/13, p.32)

2014        Apr 24, The Marshall Islands filed suit against each of the nine nuclear-armed nations with an unprecedented lawsuit demanding that they meet their obligations toward disarmament and accusing them of "flagrant violations" of international law. The Marshall Islands claims the nine countries are modernizing their nuclear arsenals instead of negotiating disarmament.
    (AP, 4/24/14)

2015        Feb 3, A SF Bay Area judge dismissed a lawsuit filed on April 24, 2014, by the Marshall Islands that charged the US and other countries of violating the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
    (SFC, 2/4/15, p.A8)

2015        May 23, Japan pledged 55 billion yen ($450 million) in aid to Pacific island nations, including Fiji, the Marshall Islands, the Solomon Islands and others, that are battling rising sea levels and natural calamities as a result of global warming.
    (AP, 5/23/15)

2015        Jul 19, The Marshall Islands, a small island country at high risk of climate change-induced sea level rise, vowed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by a third within a decade.
    (AFP, 7/19/15)

2015        Oct 1, The foreign minister and the people of the Marshall Islands were honored for taking legal action against the nuclear powers for failing to honor disarmament obligations. Tony de Brum and the people of the Pacific island group shared the honorary portion of the 2015 Right Livelihood Award, sometimes referred to as the "alternative Nobel." This year's 3-million-kronor ($358,500) cash award was shared by Canada's Sheila Watt-Cloutier, for her supports to Inuit causes; Uganda's Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, for her struggle for sexual minorities' rights; and Italian surgeon Gino Strada, for providing medical assistance to victims of war.
    (AP, 10/1/15)

2016        Mar 7, In the Netherlands the Marshall Islands began legal proceedings against India at the International Court of Justice, as part of cases against three of the world's nuclear powers aimed at breathing new life into disarmament negotiations.
    (AP, 3/7/16)

2017        Dec 5, The European Union put 17 non-EU countries on a blacklist of those it deems guilty of unfairly offering tax avoidance schemes. They Included: American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, South Korea, Macau, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, St. Lucia, Samoa, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia and United Arab Emirates. Over 40 more were put on a "grey list" to be monitored until they are fully committed to reforms.
    (AP, 12/5/17)

2018        Mar 3, It was reported that the Marshall Islands became the first country in the world to recognize a cryptocurrency as its legal tender when it passed a law this past week to create the digital "Sovereign," or SOV. In the nation of 60,000, the cryptocurrency will have equal status with the US dollar as a form of payment.
    (AP, 3/3/18)

2019        Jan 22, It was reported that research from the University of Arkansas shows that more than 12,000 people from the Marshall Islands now live in northwest Arkansas.
    (AP, 1/22/19)

2019        Mar 12, European Union governments adopted a broadened blacklist of tax havens, adding the United Arab Emirates and British and Dutch overseas territories in a revamp that tripled the number of listed jurisdictions. The new list added Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba, Barbados, Belize, the British overseas territory of Bermuda, Fiji, the Marshall Islands, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Vanuatu and Dominica. The EU blacklist originally comprised 17 jurisdictions, including the UAE, but shrank to five after most listed states committed to change their tax rules.
    (Reuters, 3/12/19)

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