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Grenada Timeline

A chronology of key historical events from 1498 to the present day.

1498 - Christopher Columbus sights the islands, which he names Grenada after the Spanish city.

1650 - French settlers from Martinique establish a colony and found Saint George's, the present capital.

1783 - France cedes Grenada to Britain in accordance with the Treaty of Versailles; African slaves brought in to work on the cotton, sugar and tobacco plantations.

1795 - Abortive rebellion against British rule led by Julien Fedon, an African planter who was inspired by the French Revolution.

1834 - Slavery abolished.

1885-1958 - Grenada acts as administrative headquarters of the British Windward Islands.

1950 - Grenada United Labour Party founded by Eric Gairy.


1951 - Grenada granted Universal Adult Suffage and self-rule. General election of 10 October 1951 results in victory for the Grenada Mental and Manual Workers Union winning 6 of 8 seats in the Legislative council.

1954 - General election of 20 September 1954 results in victory for Eric Gairy's Grenada United Labour Party (GULP) winning 6 of 8 seats.

1957 - General election of 24 September 1957 results in an equal share of seats (each with two) among political parties and a coalition government being formed.

1958-62 - Grenada is part of the British-sponsored Federation of the West Indies.

Herbert Blaize

1959 - New Constitution introduced on 21 December 1959 giving real authority for governing the country was given to a Chief Minister and those from the majority party in the Legislative Council.


1960 - Herbert Blaize, leader of the Grenada National Party, becomes Grenada's first Chief Minister in January 1960.

1961 - General election of 27 March 1961 results in victory for Eric Gairy's Grenada United Labour Party with 8 of 10 seats, however due to a ban, Gairy was not was not eligible to be a candidate in the 1961 election. George E.D. Clyne served as Chief Minister from March to August 1961.


Sir Eric Gairy

1961 - Following the direct intervention of the British government, Gairy's political ban was lifted early, and Clyne resigned allowing Gairy to return in a by-election and become Chief Minister in August 1961.


1962 - Grenada`s Administrator, the Queens representative on the island, James Lloyd suspended the constitution, dissolved the Legislative Council, and removed Eric Gairy as Chief Minister in June 1962, following allegations concerning the Gairy`s financial impropriety.

1962 - General election of 13 September 1962 results in victory for Grenada National Party winning 6 of 10 seats. Herbert Blaize becomes Chief Minister.

1967 - Grenada becomes autonomous, with foreign and defence affairs remaining under British control. Herbert Blazie becomes the country's first Premier.


1967 - Gairy's Grenada United Labour Party wings 7 of 10 seats in 24 August 1967 general election. Eairy returned as Premier.

1974 - Grenada becomes independent on 7 February 1974 with Eric Gairy as its first Prime Minister.

Maurice Bishop


1979 - Gairy is ousted in coup organised by the leftist New Jewel Movement and led by Maurice Bishop, who proceeds to strengthen ties with Cuba and the US.

1983 - Bishop ousted and executed by former left-wing allies led by General Hudson Austin, who objected to his attempts to improve ties with the US; coup provides pretext for an invasion by the US; Austin arrested; Interim Advisory Council reinstates 1974 constitution.


1984 - Herbert A Blaize becomes Prime Minister after his centre-left New National Party (NNP) wins 14 of 15 seats in the 3 December 1984 general election.

Nicholas Brathwaite

1989 - Blaize remains Prime Minister after being replaced as head of the NNP; he later dies in office and is replaced by Ben Jones.


1990 - Coalition government headed by Nicholas Braithwaite, of the centrist National Democratic Congress (NDC) takes office after an inconclusive general election on 13 March 1990.


1995 Feb - Agriculture Minister George Brizan becomes Prime Minister after resignation of Braithwaite on 1 February 1995.


Dr. Keith Mitchell

1995 Jun - Keith Mitchell becomes Prime Minister after his NNP wins 20 June 1995 general election with 8 of 15 seats.

1999 - Prime Minister Keith Mitchell's NNP wins landslide in 18 June 1999 general election, taking all 15 seats in parliament.

2000 Apr - Truth and Reconciliation Commission set up with South African help to examine political upheavals of the "Revolutionary Years" between 1976 and 1983.

2000 Sep - Three Chinese diplomats on a private visit are deported for statements construed as interference in the internal affairs of Grenada. They were invited by the newly-formed Grenada-China friendship association of opposition leader Michael Baptiste.

2001 - Grenada blacklisted by Paris-based Financial Action Task Force for not doing enough to tackle money-laundering. Government begins review of offshore banking.

2001 - Opposition criticises government for establishing diplomatic ties with Libya and for Prime Minister Mitchell's trip to Tripoli. He went as part of an Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) delegation seeking economic help after a drop-off in aid from the US, UK.

2001 Dec - Canada imposes visa regime on holders of Grenada passports, which can be bought, over security fears following 11 September attacks. Grenada had earlier suspended sales to avoid awarding citizenship to terrorists.

2001 Dec - Underwater volcano Kick'em Jenny off the Grenada coast erupts, but does not break the water's surface.

2002 Feb - Paris-based Financial Action Task Force removes Grenada from blacklist of countries said to be insufficiently cooperative in fight against money-laundering.

2002 - Major organic banana project launched in an effort to boost the industry; 150 acres are set aside for organic cultivation.

2003 Jun - US Treasury Department's financial crimes agency withdraws its 2002 advisory on Grenada as efforts continue to clean-up offshore banking.

2003 Nov - Prime Minister Keith Mitchell's NNP narrowly wins a third term in office in the 27 November 2003 election with 8 of 15 seats.

2004 Sep - Grenada takes a direct hit from Hurricane Ivan - the country's worst hurricane in living memory. Prime Minister Mitchell declares a national disaster; he says the island is 90% devastated.

2005 Jan - Grenada re-establishes diplomatic ties with China, favouring Beijing over its former diplomatic partner Taiwan.

2005 Jul- Still recovering from 2004's Hurricane Ivan, Grenada is hit by Hurricane Emily. The storm kills one person, destroys crops and damages homes.

2007 Feb - UK-based Privy Court rules that 14 prisoners who were sentenced to death over the 1983 coup should be re-sentenced. It says the sentences, handed down in 1986, are illegitimate.

2008 Feb - Former Prime Minister Sir Eric Gairy is named as the country's first National Hero on 34th anniversary of independence.

Tillman Thomas


2008 Jul - The National Democratic Congress takes a clear victory in elections, taking 11 parliamentary seats to the New National Party's four. The surprise win denies Keith Mitchell a fourth term in office, and Tillman Thomas of the NDC takes over as Prime Minister.

2009 Sep - The last seven of the 17 men convicted over the 1983 coup and murder of PM Maurice Bishop are released from prison after serving out their sentences.


2013 Feb - The 19 February 2013 general election resulted in a landslide victory for the opposition New National Party, which won all 15 seats. The NNP's Keith Mitchell was once again sworn in as Prime Minister.

2016 - In the 24 November 2016 constitutional referendum voters were asked to approve of seven amendments, with each one voted on separately (each requiring two-thirds of valid votes); however, all seven proposals were rejected by voters. It was the first referendum in Grenada's history.

NNP = New National Party; NDC = New Democratic Congress; GEM = Grenada Empowerment Movement; GPM = Grenada Progressive Movement; GRP = Grenada Renaissance Party; GUPM = Grenada United Patriotic Movement; TLP = The Liberal Partry; TPP= The Progress Party; ULP = United Labour Platform; GULP = Grenada United Labour Platform; PLM = People's Labour Movement; GOD = Good Old Democracy; MBPM = Maurice Bishop Patriotic Movement; URP = United Republican Party; CDLP = Christian Democratic Labour Party; GFLP = Grenada Federated Labour Party;IND = Independent; * Incumbent; ** Political Leader
Grenada Parliamentary Elections Office
A Political Chronology of the Americas by Europa Publications.
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  National Democratic Congress (NDC)
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