Guatemalan History

Historical Events

  • 1821-09-15 Act of Independence of Central America: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras & Nicaragua declare their independence from the Spanish Empire
  • 1839-04-17 Guatemala forms republic
  • 1871-06-30 Guatemala revolts for agrarian reforms
  • 1902-10-25 Santa Maria Guatemala hit by Earthquake; about 6,000 die
  • 1913-03-28 Guatemala becomes a signatory to the Buenos Aires copyright treaty.
  • 1921-01-19 Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras & El Salvador sign Pact of Union
  • 1922-01-29 Union of Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras & El Salvador dissolved
  • 1944-10-01 Newspaper editor Alejandro Córdova assassinated in Guatemala
  • 1944-10-20 Revolution by workers & students in Guatemala
  • 1945-04-19 The diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and Guatemala are established.
  • 1950-11-10 Jacobo Arbenz Guzman elected president of Guatemala
  • 1952-04-19 56th Boston Marathon won by Doroteo Flores of Guatemala in 2:31:53
  • 1954-06-17 CIA exile army lands in Guatemala. Organised by John Foster Dulles and United Fruit Co.
  • 1954-06-27 CIA-sponsored rebels overthrow elected government of Guatemala
  • 1954-07-08 Military junta selects colonel Armas president of Guatemala
  • 1957-07-26 Carlos Castillo Armas, dictator of Guatemala, is assassinated
  • 1958-02-12 Gen Miguel Ydegoras Fuentes elected president of Guatemala
  • 1960-07-14 Fire rages through a Guatemala City insane asylum killing 225 and severely injuring 300
  • 1960-10-30 Guatemala's "La Hora" reports plan for invasion on Cuba
  • 1976-02-04 7.5 earthquake kills 22,778 in Guatemala & Honduras
  • 1977-04-27 28 people are killed in the Guatemala City air disaster.
  • 1980-01-31 Police storm occupied Spanish embassy in Guatemala City, killing 41
  • 1982-03-23 Guatemala military coup under gen Rios Montt, president Romeo Lucas flees
  • 1982-06-09 General Efrain Rios Montt declares himself president of Guatemala

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1983-01-07 President Reagan ends US arms embargo against Guatemala

US President & Actor Ronald Reagan
US President & Actor
Ronald Reagan
  • 1983-08-08 Military coup in Guatemala, President Rios Montt flees
  • 1985-05-31 Guatemala adopts constitution
  • 1986-01-14 Constitution of Guatemala takes effect
  • 1986-01-14 Vinicio Cerezo becomes only 2nd freely elected president of Guatemala since CIA-sponsored coup in 1954
  • 1987-08-07 5 Central American presidents sign peace accord in Guatemala
  • 1989-06-17 US beats Guatemala 2-1 in 3rd round of 1990 world soccer cup
  • 1991-01-06 Jorge Serrano Elias elected president of Guatemala
  • 1991-01-14 Jorge Serrano Elias sworn in as president of Guatemala
  • 1993-06-01 Guatemala president Jorge Serrano overthrown by army
  • 1993-06-06 Ramiro de Leon Carpio elected President of Guatemala
  • 1996-05-06 Guatemala's leftist guerrillas sign key accord with government of President Alvaro Arzu aimed at ending 35 years of civil war
  • 1996-10-16 Eighty-four people are killed and more than 180 injured as 47,000 football fans attempt to squeeze into the 36,000-seat Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City.
  • 1997-07-28 Guatemala becomes a member of the Berne Convention copyright treaty.
  • 2007-02-19 Three Salvadoran deputies to the Central American Parliament and their driver are murdered in Guatemala.
  • 2012-03-21 Five former Guatemalan paramilitaries are sentenced to 7,710 years in jail for their role in the Plan de Sanchez massacre in 1982
  • 2012-09-13 33,000 people are evacuated after Guatemala's Volcano of Fire erupts
  • 2012-11-07 48 people are killed by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake in Guatemala
  • 2012-12-09 6 people are killed and 41 are injured after a bus plunges 30 metres down a gorge in Guatemala
  • 2013-09-08 11 people are killed and 18 are injured after a gunfire attack in Guatemala City
  • 2013-09-09 44 people are killed and 45 are injured after a bus crashes into a ravine in Northern Guatemala
  • 2015-10-01 Mudslide on the outskirts of Guatemala City leaves at least 131 dead and 300 missing
  • 2016-03-01 Two Guatemalan military officers are convicted of sexual slavery during country's civil war - first ever prosecution of sexual slavery during an armed conflict

Famous Birthdays

  • 1817-11-24 Juan de la Cruz Moreno Maisonave, Guatemala

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1899-10-19 Miguel Ángel Asturias, Guatemalan novelist (Hombres de Maiz, Nobel 67), journalist and poet, born in Guatemala City (d. 1974)

Nobel Prize winning Novelist and Journalist Miguel Ángel Asturias
Nobel Prize winning Novelist and Journalist
Miguel Ángel Asturias
  • 1913-09-14 Jacobo Arbenz, president of Guatemala (1951-54); overthrown by CIA
  • 1915-03-17 Hans Namuth, German/US photographer (Todos Santos, Guatemala)
  • 1918-07-17 Carlos Manuel Arana Osorio, President of Guatemala (d. 2003)
  • 1935-03-27 Fr. Stanley Rother, Roman Catholic Priest, Martyr and Missionary to Guatemala (d. 1981)
  • 1942-12-26 Marco Vinicio Cerezo Arévalo, Guatemalan president
  • 1964-01-19 Ricardo Arjona, Guatemalan singer
  • 1973-07-16 Karla Beteta, Miss Universe-Guatemala (1996)
  • 1978-03-03 Carol Aquino, Miss Guatemala Universe (1997)
  • 1979-09-15 Carlos Ruiz, Guatemalan soccer player

Famous Deaths

  • 1907-06-09 Manuel Estrada Vabrera, president Guatemala, murdered
  • 1957-07-26 Carlos Castillo Armas, president of Guatemala, murdered
  • 1968-08-28 John Gordon Mein, US ambassador in Guatemala, dies
  • 1971-01-27 Jacobo Arbenz, President of Guatemala (b. 1913)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1974-06-09 Miguel Ángel Asturias, Guatemalan novelist (Hombres de Maiz, Nobel 67), journalist and poet, dies at 74

Nobel Prize winning Novelist and Journalist Miguel Ángel Asturias
Nobel Prize winning Novelist and Journalist
Miguel Ángel Asturias
  • 1981-07-28 Fr. Stanley Rother, Roman Catholic Priest, Martyr and Missionary to Guatemala (b. 1935)
  • 1990-09-11 Myrna Mack, Guatemalan anthropologist (b. 1949)
  • 1990-10-07 Juan Jose Arevalo, president of Guatemala (1945-51), dies
  • 1996-04-30 Julio Cesar Mendez Montenegro, President of Guatemala (1966-70), dies
  • 1997-02-18 Enrique Peralta Azurdia, Colonel and military President of Guatemala (1963-66), dies at 88
  • 2003-02-07 Augusto Monterroso, Guatemalan author (b. 1921)
  • 2003-12-06 Carlos Manuel Arana Osorio, President of Guatemala (b. 1918)
  • 2009-12-01 Gustavo Adolfo Palma, Guatemalan singer (b. 1920)