Bahamas in History

Historical Events

Historic 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)

Historic Event

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

  • 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 in the Bahamas and Haiti

Historic Event

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

  • 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 led by Lynden Pindling as leader of the Progressive Liberal Party
  • 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

Hurricane Katrina

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
  • 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

Calico Jack

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

  • 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)

Sidney Poitier

1927-02-20 Sidney Poitier, Bahamian-American actor, first black actor to win Oscar for Best Actor ('Lillies in the Field' - 1963; To Sir With Love"; "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner"), director (Stir Crazy), civil rights advocate, and diplomat, born in Miami, Florida (d. 2022) [1]

  • 1929-08-28 Roxie Roker, Bahamian-American actress (The Jeffersons- Helen Willis), born in Miami, Florida (d. 1995)
  • 1930-03-22 Lynden Pindling, Bahamas 'Father of the Nation' Prime Minister of Bahamas (1967-92), born in Nassau, Bahamas (d. 2000)
  • 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
  • 1964-11-23 Frank Rutherford, Bahamian athlete
  • 1968-04-03 Sebastian Bach [Bierk], Canadian heavy metal singer (Skid Row - "I Remember You"; "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

Cindy Crawford

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

Deion Sanders

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

  • 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

Wedding of Interest

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

Jewel Kilcher

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


Famous Deaths

ExecutionCalico 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

  • 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 [Bert Cooper], Bahamian-American stage and actor (Cotton Goes to Harlem), dies from stroke complications at 72
  • 2018-02-24 Durward Knowles, Bahamas yachtsman (Olympic gold, Star class 1968), dies at 100