Bahamas in History

Historical Events


DiscoveryHistoric Expedition

1492-10-12 Christopher Columbus's expedition makes landfall on a Caribbean island he names San Salvador (likely Watling Island, Bahamas). The explorer believes he has reached East Asia (OS 21 Oct)

Explorer of the New World Christopher Columbus
Explorer of the New World
Christopher Columbus

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1629-10-30 King Charles I gives Bahamas to Sir Robert Heath

King of England Charles I
King of England
Charles I
  • 1776-03-03 American commodore Esek Hopkins occupies Nassau, Bahamas
  • 1879-01-09 Kirland Warbler discovered on Andros Island in Bahamas
  • 1954-10-05 Hurricane Hazel forms in the Caribbean, killing 400-1000 people inthe Bahamas and Haiti

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1959-01-07 American gangster Meyer Lansky flees Cuba for the Bahamas due to the Cuban Revolution and rise of Fidel Castro

Mobster Meyer Lansky
Mobster
Meyer Lansky
  • 1964-01-07 Bahamas becomes self-governing
  • 1965-02-24 Beatles begin filming "Help" in Bahamas
  • 1965-11-13 "Yarmouth Castle" burns and sinks off Bahamas, killing 89
  • 1967-01-16 1st black government installed in Bahamas
  • 1968-10-14 Gruener & Watson (US) set scuba depth record (133 m) in Bahamas
  • 1973-07-10 Bahamas declares Independence from UK & adopts constitution
  • 1977-01-19 Snow falls in Miami, Florida. This is the only time in the history of the city that snowfall has occurred. It also fell in the Bahamas.
  • 2001-08-25 Singer Aaliyah and 8 others killed in an air crash in the Bahamas

Historic DiscoveryHurricane Katrina

2005-08-23 Hurricane Katrina forms over the Bahamas, later becoming a category 5 hurricane
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A section of New Orleans, Louisiana is flooded after Hurricane Katrina in 2005
A section of New Orleans, Louisiana is flooded after Hurricane Katrina in 2005
  • 2012-10-26 Hurricane Sandy makes landfall in the Bahamas killing 2 people and causing over $300 million in damage
  • 2014-02-07 German treasurer Helmut Linssen resigns amid a scandal involving offshore banking accounts in the Bahamas and Panama
  • 2015-10-01 Cargo ship El Faro goes missing with 33 crew during Hurricane Joaquin near the Bahamas
  • 2016-08-15 Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas dives at the line to win the women's 400m gold medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics; beats American 6-time Olympic gold medallist Allyson Felix by 0.07
  • 2019-09-01 Hurricane Dorian makes landfall on Elbow Cay in the Abaco islands, northern Bahamas as a category five storm with winds of 180mph (285km/h)

Famous Birthdays


Person of interestCalico Jack

1682-12-26 Calico Jack [John Rackham], English pirate captain who operated in the Bahamas and Cuba, born in England (d. 1720)

Pirate Calico Jack
Pirate
Calico Jack
  • 1874-11-12 Bert Williams, African American comedian and entertainer, born in Nassau, Bahamas (d. 1922)
  • 1912-05-15 Alexis Nihon, Bahamas, wrestler (Olympics 1968)
  • 1916-03-29 John Paul, British colonial administrator, Governor-General (Bahamas), born in Weymouth, Dorset (d. 2004)
  • 1917-05-28 Gerald Cash, Governor-General of the Bahamas, born in Nassau, Bahamas (d. 2003)
  • 1917-11-02 Durward Knowles, Bahamas yachtsman (Olympic gold, Star class 1968), born in Nassau, Bahamas (d. 2018)
  • 1920-11-08 Esther Rolle, Bahamian-American actress (Good Times, Maude), born in Pompano Beach Florida (d. 1998)

Person of interestSidney Poitier

1927-02-20 Sidney Poitier, Bahamian-American actor, first black actor to win Oscar for Best Actor ('Lillies in the Field' - 1963), born in Miami, Florida

  • 1929-08-28 Roxie Roker, Bahamian-American actress (The Jeffersons- Helen Willis), born in Miami, Florida (d. 1995)
  • 1930-03-22 Lynden O Pindling, Prime Minister of Bahamas (1967-92)
  • 1934-10-18 Calvin Lockhart, Bahamian actor (d. 2007)
  • 1944-08-21 Perry Christie, 3rd Prime Minister of the Bahamas, born in Nassau, Bahamas
  • 1948-07-04 Ed Armbrister, Bahamian baseball player (Cincinnati Reds), born in Nassau, Bahamas
  • 1949-08-22 Diana Nyad, American journalist and long-distance swimmer (1st to swim Bahamas to Fla-1979), born in NYC, New York
  • 1953-09-18 Betsy Boze, American academic (9th president of The College of The Bahamas), born in Shreveport, Louisiana
  • 1964-01-19 Janine Antoni, Bahamian artist, born in Freeport, Bahamas
  • 1964-01-20 Roger Smith, Bahamas tennis doubles player, born in Freeport, Bahamas
  • 1964-11-23 Frank Rutherford, Bahamian athlete
  • 1968-04-03 Sebastian Bach [Bierk], Canadian heavy metal singer (Skid Row-Psycho Love), born in Freeport, Bahamas
  • 1969-04-11 J Nick Adamson, Freeport Bahamas, US laser sailor (Olymp-21st-1996)
  • 1974-02-08 Kimbo Slice [Kevin Ferguson], American mixed martial artist, born in the Bahamas (d. 2016)
  • 1984-07-01 Donald Thomas, Bahamian high jumper (World Championship gold 2007), born in Freeport, Bahamas
  • 1998-07-23 Deandre Ayton, Bahamian basketball center (2018 NBA Draft: #1 pick Phoenix Suns), born in Nassau, Bahamas

Famous Weddings

  • 1998-05-21 Supermodel Cindy Crawford (32) weds restaurateur Rande Gerber (36) on Paradise Island in the Bahamas

LoveWedding of Interest

1999-05-21 NFL legend Deion Sanders (31) weds model Pilar Biggers in Paradise Island, Bahamas

NFL Legend Deion Sanders
NFL Legend
Deion Sanders
  • 2005-04-16 "Survivor: All-Stars" winner Amber Mariano (26) weds The Amazing Race star Rob Mariano (29) at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas
  • 2005-05-14 The Beverly Hills, 90210 actor Jason Priestley (35) weds British makeup artist Naomi Lowde at the One & Only Ocean Club on Paradise Island in the Bahamas
  • 2007-05-06 "The Fast and the Furious" actress Jordana Brewster (27) weds movie producer Andrew Form (38) in Bahamas

LoveWedding of Interest

2008-06-28 Golfing legend Greg Norman (53) weds former tennis star Chris Evert (53) in Paradise Island, Bahamas

Golfer Greg Norman
Golfer
Greg Norman
Tennis Legend Chris Evert
Tennis Legend
Chris Evert

LoveWedding of Interest

2008-08-07 Singer-songwriter Jewel Kilcher (34) weds rodeo champion Ty Murray (38) at The Cove Atlantis Resort in Paradise Island, Bahamas

Singer-Songwriter Jewel Kilcher
Singer-Songwriter
Jewel Kilcher

Famous Deaths


BattleCalico Jack

1720-11-17 Calico Jack [John Rackham], English pirate captain who operated in the Bahamas and Cuba, executed for piracy by hanging in Port Royal at 37

Pirate Calico Jack
Pirate
Calico Jack
  • 1943-07-08 Harry Oakes, Canadian ruler of Bahamas, murdered
  • 1995-12-02 Roxie Roker, Bahamian-American actress (The Jeffersons- Helen Willis), dies of breast cancer at 66
  • 1998-11-17 Esther Rolle, Bahamian-American actress (Good Times, Maude), dies from complications of diabetes at 78
  • 2001-08-25 Aaliyah [Haughton], American singer and actress, dies in a plane crash in the Bahamas at 22
  • 2004-12-13 Andre Rodgers, Bahamian baseball shortstop (first Bahamian to play in MLB; NY/SF Giants; Chicago Cubs), dies at 70
  • 2007-03-29 Calvin Lockhart, Bahamian actor (b. 1934)
  • 2018-02-24 Durward Knowles, Bahamas yachtsman (Olympic gold, Star class 1968), dies at 100