French Polynesia in History

Historical Events

  • 1767-06-18 Samuel Wallis, an English sea captain, sights Tahiti and is considered the first European to reach the island.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1777-12-08 Captain James Cook leaves Society Islands

Captain/Explorer James Cook
James Cook
  • 1835-10-20 HMS Beagle leaves Galapagos Archipelago to sail to Tahiti

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1835-11-15 Charles Darwin reaches Tahiti on board HMS Beagle

Naturalist Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1947-08-07 Thor Heyerdahl and his crew of the Kon-Tiki crash into a reef in the Tuamotu Islands, French Polynesia after 101 days crossing the Pacific Ocean

Ethnographer, Archaeologist and Explorer Thor Heyerdahl
Ethnographer, Archaeologist and Explorer
Thor Heyerdahl
  • 1966-07-02 1st France nuclear test on Mururoa atoll
  • 1968-08-24 France becomes the world's fifth thermonuclear power with a detonation on Mururoa Atoll in the South Pacific
  • 1973-06-28 New Zealand ship HMNZS Otago sails for Mururoa nuclear test zone after France‚Äôs refusal to accept an International Court of Justice injunction against its atmospheric nuclear testing
  • 1991-11-18 France deports Marlon's daughter Cheyenne Brando to Tahiti

Famous Birthdays

  • 1926-06-21 Conrad Hall, Tahitian-born cinematographer (d. 2003)
  • 1944-11-01 Oscar Temaru, President of French Polynesia
  • 1970-02-20 Cheyenne Brando, Papeete Tahiti, daughter of Marlon
  • 1972-12-09 Fabrice Santoro, Tahiti, tennis star

Famous Weddings

  • 1892-01-11 Paul Gauguin marries a 13-year-old Tahitian girl

Famous Deaths

  • 1903-05-08 Eugene-Henri-Paul Gauguin, French painter (Tahiti), dies