Havana in History

Historical Events

  • 1515-08-25 Conquistador Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar founds Havana in modern day Cuba, on the southern coast of the island. Moved to its current location in 1519.
  • 1519-11-16 City of Havana moved to its current location to avoid mosquito infestations
  • 1762-08-14 English fleet occupies Havana
  • 1863-03-21 Naval Engagement at Havana, Cuba: USS Henrick Hudson vs Confederate blokcade runner Wild Pigeon
  • 1898-02-15 USS Maine sinks in Havana harbor, cause unknown, 258 sailors die
  • 1906-09-30 Real Academia Galega, Galician language biggest linguistic authority starts working in Havana.
  • 1911-01-30 1st rescue of an air passenger by a ship, near Havana, Cuba
  • 1929-01-12 Seatrain (RR cars on ships) service begins, New Orleans-Havana
  • 1939-04-30 Tropicana ballet of Havana, Cuba, forms

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1953-10-16 Fidel Castro sentenced to 15 years (Havana)

Cuban Revolutionary and President Fidel Castro
Cuban Revolutionary and President
Fidel Castro
  • 1955-11-13 1st live telecast from non-contiguous foreign country-Havana Cuba

BattleBattle of Interest

1957-03-13 Bloody battles after anti-Batista demonstration in Havana Cuba

Cuban President and Dictator Fulgencio Batista
Cuban President and Dictator
Fulgencio Batista
  • 1958-01-08 Cuban revolutionary forces capture Havana
  • 1958-03-27 Havana Hilton opens in Cuba, later HQ for Fidel Castro
  • 1958-04-03 Fidel Castro's rebels attacked Havana
  • 1959-10-21 Contra revolutionaries bomb Havana

  • 1960-03-04 French freighter "La Coubre" explodes in Havana Cuba, killing 100
  • 1960-03-26 Orioles-Reds series planned for Havana is moved to Miami
  • 1960-07-08 Fidel Castro ends Havana's International League team, Sugar Kings move to New Jersey
  • 1969-06-04 22-year-old man sneaks into wheel pod of a jet parked in Havana and survives 9-hr flight to Spain despite thin oxygen levels at 29,000 ft
  • 1989-09-03 Iljushin-62 crashes down on residential area of Havana, 170 die
  • 1991-08-02 Pan Am games open in Havana
  • 1991-08-06 American softball pitcher Debbie Doom strikes out 17 in her 2nd consecutive perfect game at the Pan American Games in Havana, Cuba; beats Nicaragua, 8-0
  • 1991-08-18 Pan American games close in Havana
  • 1994-08-01 Train crash in Havana Cuba, 6 killed

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2006-07-31 Fidel Castro temporarily hands over power to brother Raúl Castro. This leads to a celebration in Little Havana (La Pequeña Habana in Spanish), Miami, Florida, where many Cuban Americans participated.

President of Cuba Raúl Castro
President of Cuba
Raúl Castro

Conference meetingMeeting of Interest

2015-09-20 Pope Francis meets Fidel Castro in Havana, on the 1st day of his tour of Cuba

Pope Pope Francis
Pope
Pope Francis
Cuban Revolutionary and President Fidel Castro
Cuban Revolutionary and President
Fidel Castro
  • 2016-02-12 Pope Francis meets Patriarch Kirill in Havana - first meeting between Catholic and Russian Orthodox church heads for nearly 1,000 years
  • 2018-05-18 Mexican Damojh airlines flight crashes near Havana airport, Cuba, killing 110 with just 3 survivors
  • 2019-01-27 Tornado strikes Havana, Cuba, killing three and injuring 172
  • 2019-11-16 500th anniversary of the founding of Havana, Cuba

Famous Birthdays

  • 1725-12-25 Esteban Salas y Castro, Cuban composer, born in Havana, Cuba (d. 1803)
  • 1847-07-31 Ignatio Cervantes, Cuban pianist and composer (Danzas Cubanas), born in Havana (d. 1905)
  • 1874-04-03 Eduardo Sanchez de Fuentes, Cuban composer, born in Havana, Cuba (d. 1944)
  • 1888-11-19 José Raúl Capablanca, Cuban world chess champion (1921-27), born in Havana, Cuba (d. 1942)
  • 1890-08-04 Dolf Luque, Cuban baseball player, born in Havana, Cuba (d. 1957)
  • 1890-09-24 Mike González, Cuban baseball player, born in Havana, Cuba (d. 1977)
  • 1900-05-20 Lydia Cabrera, Cuban Anthropologist, born in Havana, Cuba
  • 1903-08-14 Millard Mitchell, Cuban actor (12 O'Clock High, Gunfighter), born in Havana, Cuba (d. 1963)
  • 1907-06-11 Marino Barreto, Cuban pianist and singer, born in Havana, Cuba (d. 1995)
  • 1910-12-19 Jose Lezama Lima, poet/novelist, born in Havana, Cuba
  • 1912-02-16 Machito [Francisco "Frank" Grillo], Latin jazz musician and creator of Cubop and salsa music (Afro-Cubans), born in Havana, Cuba - NB: birth date and location disputed (d. 1984)
  • 1914-11-15 Jorge Bolet, Cuban-born American pianist known for his performances of the work of Franz Liszt, born in Havana, Cuba (d. 1990)
  • 1917-09-25 Johnny Sain, American baseball player, born in Havana, Arkansas (d. 2006)
  • 1920-02-27 Jose Melis, orchestra leader (Jack Paar Program), born in Havana, Cuba
  • 1921-12-21 Alicia Alonso, Cuban ballerina, founder of the National Ballet of Cuba, born in Havana, Cuba (d. 2019)
  • 1923-07-23 Luis Aloma, Cuban baseball player, born in Havana, Cuba (d. 1997)
  • 1927-10-12 Antonia Rey [Francesch], Cuban-born American actress (True Colors, Wise Guys), born in Havana, Cuba
  • 1928-05-31 Jacob Lateiner, pianist/professor (Juiliard), born in Havana, Cuba
  • 1928-12-11 Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, Cuban filmmaker (Muerte de un burócrata), born in Havana, Cuba (d. 1996)
  • 1929-11-10 Ninón Sevilla, Cuban-Mexican actress (Aventurera, Víctimas del Pecado), born in Havana, Cuba (d. 2015)
  • 1930-10-29 Omara Portuondo, Cuban singer (Cuarteto d'Aida; Buena Vista Social Club), born in Havana, Cuba
  • 1932-02-06 Camilo Cienfuegos, Cuban revolutionary, born in Havana, Cuba (d. 1959)
  • 1939-03-01 Leo Brouwer, Cuban composer, conductor and musician, born in Havana
  • 1940-10-30 Miguel Calderón Gómez, Cuban basketball player (Olympic bronze 1972), born in Havana, Cuba
  • 1941-07-04 Sergio Oliva, American body builder (The Myth, IFBB Mr. Olympia, 1967-9), born in Havana, Cuba (d. 2012)
  • 1941-12-04 Humberto Solás, Cuban film director and writer (Lucia), born in Havana, Cuba (d. 2008)
  • 1943-06-24 Georg Stanford Brown, Cuban actor (Terry Webster-Rookies), born in Havana, Cuba
  • 1946-09-02 Luis Avalos, actor (Condo, E/R, I Had 3 Wives), born in Havana, Cuba
  • 1950-06-03 Marlene Elejarde, 4x100m runner (Olympic silver 1968), born in Havana, Cuba
  • 1953-11-04 Carlos Gutierrez, American politician (35th United States Secretary of Commerce 2005-09), born in Havana, Cuba
  • 1954-08-13 Lincoln Díaz-Balart, Cuban-American attorney and politician (Rep-R-Florida), born in Havana, Cuba
  • 1954-08-29 Julio Fernandez, Cuban-American jazz guitarist (Spyro Gyra), born in Havana, Cuba
  • 1956-04-12 Andy Garcia, Cuban-American actor (Stand & Deliver, 8 Million Ways to Die), born in Havana, Cuba
  • 1956-09-13 Oribe Canales, Cuban American celebrity hairdresser, born in Havana, Cuba (d. 2018)
  • 1956-12-02 Steven Bauer, Cuban-American actor (Scarface, Thief of Hearts), born in Havana, Cuba

Person of interestGloria Estefan

1957-09-01 Gloria Estefan [Fajardo], Cuban-American singer (Miami Sound Machine-Conga), born in Havana, Cuba

  • 1958-08-07 Alberto Salazar, American track coach and long distance runner (NYC Marathon Winner), born in Havana, Cuba
  • 1958-10-09 Al Jourgensen, Cuban-American musician (Ministry), born in Havana, Cuba
  • 1961-10-04 John Secada, Cuban American singer-songwriter, born in Havana, Cuba
  • 1964-07-02 Jose Canseco, Cuban MLB outfielder (AL MVP 1988), born in Havana, Cuba
  • 1964-09-24 Rafael Palmeiro, 1st baseman (Baltimore Orioles), born in Havana, Cuba
  • 1967-01-23 Belkis Ayón, Cuban printmaker (collography), born in Havana, Cuba (d. 1999)
  • 1972-01-11 Rey Ordonez, infielder (NY Mets), born in Havana, Cuba
  • 1975-10-23 Odalys García, Cuban actress (Lente Loco), born in Havana, Cuba
  • 1977-08-20 Mayra Verónica, Cuban-American model and actress, born in Havana, Cuba

Famous Weddings

  • 1923-03-23 Writer Anaïs Nin (Delta of Venus) marries banker and artist Hugh Parker Guiler in Havana, Cuba