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

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
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.
  • 2005-08-23 Hurricane Katrina forms over the Bahamas, later becoming a category 5 hurricane
  • 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

Famous Birthdays

  • 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, Gov-Gen (Bahamas)
  • 1917-11-02 Durward Knowles, yachtsman (Olympic gold 1968-Bahamas), born in Nassau, Bahamas
  • 1930-03-22 Lynden O Pindling, PM of Bahamas (1967-92)
  • 1944-08-21 Perry Christie, former prime minister of the Bahamas, born in Nassau, Bahamas
  • 1946-01-10 Alexis Nihon Jr, Canadian-born wrestler (Olympics 1968), born in Montreal, Canada
  • 1949-08-22 Diana Nyad, American journalist and long-distance swimmer (1st to swim Bahamas to Fla-1979), born in NYC, New York
  • 1964-01-20 Roger Smith, Freeport Bahamas, tennis doubles player
  • 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)

Famous Weddings

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

HeartWedding 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

HeartWedding of Interest

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

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

HeartWedding 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
Jewel Kilcher

Famous Deaths

  • 1943-07-08 Harry Oakes, Canadian ruler of Bahamas, murdered