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Bermuda Timeline
A chronology of key historical events from 1503 to the present day
Circa 1503 Spanish sea captain Juan de Bermudez sights the islands.
1609 Shipwrecked on his way to Virginia, English explorer Sir George Somers settles. In his honour Bermuda is renamed as the Somers Islands, although the name doesn't stick.
Early 1600s African and American Indian slaves are brought to the islands. By 1617 they outnumber white settlers.
1684  Bermuda becomes an English crown colony.
1834 Slavery is abolished in Bermuda and the rest of the British Empire.
1883 W.H.T. Joell elected first black Member of Parliament
1941 US establishes military bases on the islands.
1946 Ban on private cars and motor vehicles lifted. Cars are restricted to one per family.
1957 British army garrison, present since 1797, is withdrawn.
1963 First elections to include political parties; newly established Progressive Labour Party (PLP) put forward nine candidates and wins six seats
1968 New constitution introduced. British monarch is head of state, represented by a Governor and internal self-government is granted; the Governor takes responsibility for external affairs, defence, internal security and the police.
1968 May First general election under new constitution held amid growing racial and political tension. Pro-dependency United Bermuda Party (UBP) wins substantial victory. UBP returns to power in subsequent elections despite growing support for pro-independence Progressive Labour Party (PLP). Sir Henry Tuck becomes Government Leader.
1971 Dec Sir Edward Trenton Richards became first black Premier
1972 Jun UBP re-elected in General Election with 30 of 40 seats
1973 Tensions rise, culminating in the assassination of Governor Richard Sharples.
1975 Dec John Sharpe become Premier
1976 May UBP re-elected in General Election with 25 of 36 seats
1977 Riots and demonstrations for civil rights follow execution of Sharples' murderer. State of emergency is declared and British forces are sent to restore order.
1977 Aug David Gibbons becomes Premier.
1978 Royal Commission investigates causes of racial violence, recommends early independence.
1980 Dec UBP re-elected in General Election with 22 of 40 seats
1981 Human Rights Act introduced, prohibiting racial discrimination.
1982 Jan John Swan becomes Premier.
1983 Feb UBP re-elected in General Election with 26 of 40 seats
1985 Oct UBP re-elected in General Election with 31 of 40 seats
1989 Feb UBP re-elected in General Election with 23 of 40 seats
1993 Oct UBP re-elected in General Election with 22 of 40 seats
1995 Independence referendum: pro-independence Progressive Labour Party (PLP) encourages voters to boycott poll. Majority votes against independence.
1995 Aug David Saul becomes Premier.
1997 Mar Pamela Gordon becomes Premier.
1998 Nov Jennifer Smith elected as first PLP Premier. PLP wins 26 of 40 seats
2002 May British Overseas Territories Act grants full British citizenship to Bermudians.
2003 Jul PLP re-elected to second term in General Election with 22 of 36 seats
2003 Jul Alex Scott becomes Premier.
2003 Sep Hurricane Fabian, worst storm in 50 years, sweeps across Bermuda with winds of up to 125 mph. Royal Navy task force heads out to offer assistance.
2004 Dec Anti-Terrorism Act passed, aiming to stop terrorists from using offshore finance industry.
2006 Oct Ewart Brown becomes Premier following a leadership challenge within the ruling Progressive Labour Party.
2007 Dec The PLP wins a third straight term in office with 22 of 36 seats.
2008 Nov

Britain says it is to conduct a review of the finance industry in Bermuda and other overseas territories. The Bermudian premier says the planned investigation is an insult to the territory.

2009 Jun Bermuda added to OECD's "white list" of countries complying with internationally agreed tax standards, after signing information exchange agreements with several countries.
2009 Jun Premier Brown causes a stir by agreeing to take in four Chinese prisoners from the US prison in Guantanamo Bay.
2010 Oct  Premier Ewart Brown steps down; PLP elects Finance Minister Paula Cox to succeed him.
2012 Dec One Bermuda Alliance (OBA) wins general election with 19 of 36 seats, ending PLP's three straight terms in office. Craig Cannonier becomes Premier.
2014 May Michael Dunkley becomes Premier.
2017 Jul PLP win General Elections. David Burt become Premier.
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OBA = One Bermuda Alliance; PLP = Progressive Labour Party; IND = Inpendent candidate; * Incumbent; ** Political Leader
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