Democratic Republic of the Congo in History

Historical Events

  • 1484-07-06 Portuguese sea captain Diogo Cão finds the mouth of the Congo River
  • 1651-02-13 Flemish missionary Joris van Geel departs to Congo

Theater Premiere

1732-08-13 Voltaire's tragic play "Zaire" premieres in Paris

Historic Event

1877-08-09 Henry Morton Stanley's party reaches Boma, Congo, after 999 days, losing half of the 228 members.

  • 1879-02-10 Henry Morton Stanley departs for the Congo
  • 1880-09-10 Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza signs treaty with King Makoko of Congo
  • 1880-11-21 Henry Stanley and Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza quarrel about possession of Congo
  • 1881-05-08 Henry Morton Stanley signs the first of many contracts with the Congolian monarch
  • 1881-10-12 Henry M Stanley signs contract with Congo monarch
  • 1882-12-14 Henry Morton Stanley returns to Brussels from the Congo
  • 1884-02-26 British & Portuguese treaty signed in Congo by Leopold II
  • 1884-04-10 US Senate accepts Belgian administration of Congo
  • 1884-04-22 US recognizes King Leopold II's Congo Free State
  • 1884-11-08 German government recognizes King Leopold II's Congo Free State
  • 1884-12-16 Great Britain recognizes King Leopold II's Congo Free State
  • 1884-12-19 Italy recognizes King Leopold II's Congo Free State
  • 1884-12-24 Austria-Hungary admits King Leopold II's Congo Free State
  • 1884-12-27 Netherlands recognizes King Leopold II's Congo Free State
  • 1885-02-05 King Leopold II of Belgium establishes the Congo as a personal colonial possession
  • 1885-02-26 Berlin Conference gives Congo to Belgium and Nigeria to Great Britain
  • 1885-05-02 Congo Free State formed by King Leopold II of Belgium
  • 1887-06-15 Stanley's expedition reaches Yambuya waterfalls Congo
  • 1887-12-05 Stanley's expedition reaches plateau at Lake Albert Congo
  • 1888-04-29 Old Kavallison, Congo: Henry Morton Stanley meets Emin Pasha
  • 1890-07-03 King Leopold II gives Congo, previously a private possession, to Belgium
  • 1890-10-03 Capt Guillaume of Kerckhoven marches into Boma Congo
  • 1892-11-23 Battle of Lomani Congo: Belgian unit beats Arabs, 1000-3000 killed
  • 1903-05-20 Britain's House of Commons begins a debate on the charges of poor administration and ill treatment of natives in Belgium's colony in the Congo Free State
  • 1903-06-29 British government protests against abuses in Belgian Congo
  • 1903-09-19 King Leopold II denies Belgian cruelty in Congo
  • 1903-12-12 Roger Casement completes report about abuses in Belgian Congo
  • 1906-06-03 Belgian King Leopold II claims Congo as his private possession
  • 1906-10-28 Belgian-British "Union Minière du Haut Katanga" mining company created in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • 1906-12-09 NY American reports Belgian King Leopold II bribed US Senate commission on the Congo

Historic Event

1906-12-11 US President Theodore Roosevelt attacks abuses in the Congo

  • 1908-01-23 US & Great Britain demand end of abuses in Congo
  • 1908-08-20 Congo Free State becomes Belgian Congo
  • 1908-10-18 Belgium annexes Congo Free State
  • 1908-10-20 King Leopold II sells Congo to Belgium
  • 1911-11-04 France & Germany sign treaty about Morocco & Congo
  • 1925-02-12 E. Thieffry departs with Handley Page for the Belgian Congo
  • 1931-07-01 Trans African Railway in use (Benguela, Angola-Jadotville, Congo)
  • 1948-10-03 Columbia University reports discovery of uranium in Belgian Congo
  • 1955-05-16 King Baudouin of Belgium visits Congo
  • 1958-11-28 Congo & Mauritania become autonomous members of French Community
  • 1959-01-13 King Boudouin promises Belgian Congo independence
  • 1961-02-09 Joseph Ileo appointed Premier of Congo
  • 1961-04-25 Premier Moise Tsjombe of Katanga arrested in Congo
  • 1961-06-22 Moise Tsjombe freed from prison in Congo
  • 1961-08-02 Cyrille Adula becomes premier of Congo
  • 1961-09-13 Battles between UN & Katanga troops in Congo
  • 1961-11-11 Congolese soldiers murder 13 Italian UN pilots
  • 1961-12-27 Belgium & Congo resume diplomatic relations
  • 1962-12-31 Katanga becomes part of Democratic Republic of Congo
  • 1964-06-26 Moise Tsjombe forms government in Congo
  • 1964-06-30 Last UN troops leave Congo
  • 1964-07-10 Moïse Tshombé, leader of the Confederation of Tribal Associations of Katanga, becomes Prime Minister of the Congo
  • 1964-08-05 Congo rebellion: Christopher Gbenye and Pierre Mulele conquer Stanleyville
  • 1964-10-27 Congo rebel leader Christopher Gbenye holds 60 Americans & 800 Belgians
  • 1964-11-24 Rebellion ends in Zaire

Historic Event

1965-11-24 Marshal Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu becomes President of Zaire

  • 1965-11-25 Congo military coup under Gen Mobutu, President Kasavubu overthrown
  • 1966-06-30 Leopoldville, Congo, is renamed Kinshasa
  • 1966-11-24 1st TV station in Congo, Kinshasa (Zaire)
  • 1967-03-13 Congo sentences ex-premier Moise Tsjombe to death
  • 1967-06-24 Zaire adopts constitution
  • 1967-07-05 Congo uprising under Belgian mercenary Jean Schramme
  • 1967-08-14 Belgian embassy in Kinshasa, Congo, plundered
  • 1969-11-03 Congo president Mobutu visits Belgium
  • 1970-01-03 Marxist government takes over in Congo
  • 1970-02-15 Nationalists disrupt UN session on Congo
  • 1971-10-27 Republic of Congo-Kinshasa becomes Republic of Zaire

Boxing Title Fight

1974-10-30 "The Rumble in the Jungle": Muhammad Ali KOs George Foreman in the 8th round in Kinshasa, Zaire; regains world heavyweight boxing title with famous "rope-a-dope" tactic

  • 1977-01-17 Zaire president Mobutu visits Belgium
  • 1978-02-15 Zaire revises its constitution
  • 1979-02-08 Denis Sassou-Nguesso becomes the President of the Republic of the Congo for the first time
  • 1979-07-08 The Democratic Republic of the Congo adoptsa new constitution

Historic Event

1989-01-12 Ex-dictator of Uganda Idi Amin expelled from Zaire

  • 1992-01-22 Rebel forces occupy Zaire's national radio station in Kinshasa and broadcast a demand for the government's resignation.

Rwandan Genocide

1994-07-15 Hundreds of thousands of Hutus flee to Zaire in the Congo near the end of the Rwandan Genocide

  • 1995-05-09 Kinshasa, Zaire under quarantine after an outbreak of Ebola virus

Famous Birthdays

  • 1844-06-21 Ernest F. Cambier, Belgian colonial pioneer (1st Congo railway) (d. 1909)
  • 1858-01-22 Frederick Lugard, British Colonial administrator, mercenary and explorer (Congo, Governor of Nigeria and Hong Kong), born in Madras, British India (d. 1945)
  • 1875-08-21 Maurice Lippens, Belgian governor of Congo (1921-23), born in Ghent, Belgium (d. 1956)
  • 1880-09-04 Leo Bittermieux, Flemish missionary (Congo) (d. 1946)
  • 1889-08-24 Simon Kimbangu/Kibangu, Congolese religious leader and founder of Kimbanguism, born in Nkamba, Congo (d. 1951)
  • 1898-07-09 Gerard Walschap, Flemish writer (Mary, Revolt in Congo), born in Londerzeel, Belgium (d. 1989)
  • 1910-09-18 Hendrik Cornelis, Belgian colonial civil servant and Governor-General of the Belgian Congo, born in Oudenaarde, Belgium (d. 1999)
  • 1919-11-10 Moise Tshombe, President of Katanga, then premier of the Congo (Zaire), born in Musumba (d. 1969)

Patrice LumumbaPatrice Lumumba (1925-1961)

1925-07-02 Congolese revolutionary, 1st prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, born in Onalua, Belgian Congo

  • 1928-07-20 Charles David Ganao, Djambala, French Equatorial Africa, Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo (1996-1997), (d. 2012)

Mobutu Sese SekoMobutu Sese Seko (1930-1997)

1930-10-14 Dictator and President of Zaire (1965-97), born in Lisala, Democratic Republic of the Congo

  • 1931-11-15 Pascal Lissouba, Congo politician
  • 1937-11-13 Tabu Ley Rochereau [Pascal-Emmanuel Sinamoyi Tabu], African musician (Orchestre Afrisa International), born in Bagata, Bandundu, Belgian Congo (d. 2013)
  • 1938-07-06 Franco Luambo [Makiadi], Congolese jazz and rumba guitarist, composer, and bandleader (TPOK Jazz), born in Sona Bata, Belgian Congo (d. 1989) [1]

Michael CrichtonMichael Crichton (1942-2008)

1942-10-23 American novelist (Andromeda Strain, Congo, Looker) and filmmaker (Jurassic Park, ER), born in Chicago, Illinois

  • 1946-04-08 Stuart Pankin, American comedian (Striptease, Congo, Earl-Dinosaurs), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1949-06-14 Papa Wemba [Wembadio Kikumba], Congolese singer, known as the "King of Rumba Rock", born in the Kasai region, Belgian Congo (d. 2016)
  • 1954-06-14 Will Patton, American actor (No Way Out, Ballzaire the Cajun), born in Charleston, South Carolina
  • 1955-12-30 Dindo Yogo [Mabeli], Congolese singer and musician, known as La Voix Cassée, born in Lokutu, Belgian Congo (d. 2000)
  • 1956-12-30 Chéri Samba (Mbimba N'zinga), Congolese contemporary artist, born in Kinto M’Vuila, Democratic Republic of Congo
  • 1960-12-29 Thomas Lubanga, Congolese war criminal, born in Ituri Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • 1967-02-02 Laurent Nkunda, Congolese general
  • 1971-06-04 Joseph Kabila, Congolese politician
  • 1977-07-20 Kiki Musampa, Congolese footballer
  • 1980-12-28 Lomana LuaLua, Congolese football player, born in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • 1988-04-06 Fabrice Muamba, Anglo-Congolese footballer

Famous Weddings

Famous Deaths

  • 1877-06-03 Frank Pocock, British explorer, drowned in the Congo while travelling with Stanley
  • 1888-08-17 James Jameson, Scottish heir to Jameson Whisky and explorer who paid for a 10 yr old girl to be eaten in the Congo, dies of a fever at 32
  • 1891-12-17 Msiri, ruler of the Garanganze Kingdom, Congo (Katanga), dies in battle against Belgian funded expedition
  • 1891-12-17 Omer Bodson, Belgian captain, dies in battle against Msiri, ruler of Garanganze Kingdom in the Congo
  • 1892-12-01 Joseph Lippens, Belgian official in Congo, murdered at 37 during the Congo Arab war
  • 1905-09-14 Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza, Italian-French explorer of the Congo (Brazzaville named after him), dies at 53
  • 1909-07-23 Ernest F. Cambier, Belgian colonial pioneer (1st Congo railway), dies at 65
  • 1915-02-10 Albert J-BJ Thijs, Belgian Colonial pioneer (Congo), dies at 65
  • 1916-03-20 Ota Benga, Congolese pygmy (b. 1884)
  • 1946-09-21 Leo Bittermieux, Flemish missionary (Congo), dies at 66
  • 1951-10-12 Simon Kimbangu/Kibangu, Congolese religious leader and founder of Kimbanguism, dies in captivity at 62
  • 1954-07-26 Hans Lodeizen [Johan Frederik], poet (Travel to Congo), dies at 26
  • 1956-07-12 Maurice Lippens, Belgian governor of Congo (1921-23), dies at 80

Patrice LumumbaPatrice Lumumba (1925-1961)

1961-02-11 Congolese revolutionary, 1st prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, assassinated by the Belgian government at 34

Dag HammarskjöldDag Hammarskjöld (1905-1961)

1961-09-18 Swedish public servant, 2nd Secretary-General of the United Nations (1953-61) and posthumous Nobel Peace Prize winner (1961), dies in a plane crash in Africa at 56

  • 1968-10-09 Pierre Mulele, Congolese rebel leader, executed
  • 1969-03-24 Joseph Kasavubu, president Congo (1960-65), dies at about 55
  • 1969-06-29 Moïse Tshombe, Congolese politician (President of the Democratic Republic of Congo 1964-5), dies at 49
  • 1993-01-05 Nyamuisi Muvingi, Zaire minister of Culture, murdered

Mobutu Sese SekoMobutu Sese Seko (1930-1997)

1997-09-07 Dictator and President of Zaire (1965-97), dies at 66

  • 2001-01-16 Laurent-Désiré Kabila, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (b. 1939)
  • 2009-07-04 Jean-Baptiste Tati Loutard, Congolese politician (b.1938)
  • 2012-07-06 Charles David Ganao, Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo, dies at 85
  • 2016-04-24 Papa Wemba [Wembadio Kikumba], Congolese singer, known as the "King of Rumba Rock", dies after collapsing on stage at 66