Guatemalan History

Historical Events

  • 1821-09-15 Act of Independence of Central America: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras & Nicaragua declare their independence from the Spanish Empire
  • 1839-04-17 Guatemala forms a republic
  • 1871-06-30 Guatemala revolts for agrarian reforms
  • 1902-10-25 Santa Maria, Guatemala hit by Earthquake, killing an estimated 6,000 people
  • 1913-03-28 Guatemala becomes a signatory to the Buenos Aires copyright treaty
  • 1921-01-19 Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras & El Salvador sign Pact of Union
  • 1922-01-29 Union of Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador dissolved
  • 1944-10-01 Newspaper editor Alejandro Córdova assassinated in Guatemala
  • 1944-10-20 Revolution by workers & students in Guatemala
  • 1945-04-19 Diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and Guatemala are established
  • 1950-11-10 Jacobo Árbenz elected President of Guatemala
  • 1952-04-21 56th Boston Marathon won by Doroteo Flores of Guatemala in 2:31:53

Historic Event

1954-06-17 CIA exile army lands in Guatemala. Organised by John Foster Dulles and United Fruit Co.

  • 1954-06-27 CIA-sponsored rebels overthrow elected government of Guatemala
  • 1954-07-08 Military junta selects colonel Armas President of Guatemala
  • 1957-07-26 Carlos Castillo Armas, Dictator and President of Guatemala, is assassinated by a palace guard with leftist sympathies
  • 1958-02-12 Gen Miguel Ydegoras Fuentes elected President of Guatemala
  • 1960-07-14 Fire rages through a Guatemala City insane asylum killing 225 and severely injuring 300
  • 1960-10-30 Guatemala's "La Hora" reports plan for invasion on Cuba
  • 1976-02-04 7.5 earthquake kills 22,778 in Guatemala & Honduras
  • 1980-01-31 Police storm occupied Spanish embassy in Guatemala City, killing 41

Coup d'état

1982-03-23 Guatemala military coup under General Efraín Rios Montt, President Romeo Lucas flees

  • 1982-06-09 General Efraín Rios Montt declares himself President of Guatemala

Historic Event

1983-01-07 President Reagan ends US arms embargo against Guatemala

  • 1983-08-08 Military coup in Guatemala, Dictator and former General Efraín Rios Montt flees
  • 1985-05-31 Guatemala adopts constitution
  • 1986-01-14 Constitution of Guatemala takes effect
  • 1986-01-14 Vinicio Cerezo becomes only the second freely elected President of Guatemala since CIA-sponsored coup in 1954
  • 1987-08-07 5 Central American presidents sign peace accord in Guatemala
  • 1989-06-17 US beats Guatemala 2-1 in 3rd round of 1990 world soccer cup
  • 1991-01-06 Jorge Serrano Elias elected President of Guatemala
  • 1991-01-14 Jorge Serrano Elias sworn in as President of Guatemala
  • 1993-06-01 Guatemala president Jorge Serrano overthrown by army
  • 1993-06-06 Ramiro de Leon Carpio elected President of Guatemala
  • 1996-05-06 Guatemala's leftist guerrillas sign key accord with government of President Alvaro Arzu aimed at ending 35 years of civil war
  • 1996-10-16 Eighty-four people are killed and more than 180 injured as 47,000 football fans attempt to squeeze into the 36,000-seat Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City.
  • 1997-07-28 Guatemala becomes a member of the Berne Convention copyright treaty
  • 2007-02-19 Three Salvadoran deputies to the Central American Parliament and their driver are murdered in Guatemala
  • 2012-03-21 Five former Guatemalan paramilitaries are sentenced to 7,710 years in jail for their role in the Plan de Sanchez massacre in 1982
  • 2012-09-13 33,000 people are evacuated after Guatemala's Volcano of Fire erupts
  • 2012-11-07 48 people are killed by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake in Guatemala
  • 2012-12-09 6 people are killed and 41 are injured after a bus plunges 30 metres down a gorge in Guatemala
  • 2013-09-08 11 people are killed and 18 are injured after a gunfire attack in Guatemala City
  • 2013-09-09 44 people are killed and 45 are injured after a bus crashes into a ravine in Northern Guatemala
  • 2015-10-01 Mudslide on the outskirts of Guatemala City leaves at least 131 dead and 300 missing
  • 2016-03-01 Two Guatemalan military officers are convicted of sexual slavery during country's civil war - first ever prosecution of sexual slavery during an armed conflict
  • 2017-03-07 19 girls killed in a fire at a government-run care center in San José Pinula, Guatemala

Famous Birthdays

  • 1817-11-24 Juan de la Cruz Moreno Maisonave, Guatemala
  • 1857-11-21 Manuel Estrada Cabrera, 13th President of Guatemala (1898-1920), born in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala (d. 1924)
  • 1877-09-09 Jesús Castillo, Guatemalan composer (Quiché Vinak), born in San Juan Ostuncalco (d. 1946)
  • 1908-06-17 Enrique Peralta Azurdia, Colonel and military President of Guatemala (1963-66), born in Guatemala City (d. 1997)
  • 1913-09-14 Jacobo Árbenz, President of Guatemala (1951-54); overthrown by CIA, born in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala (d. 1971)
  • 1914-11-04 Carlos Castillo Armas, Dictator and President of Guatemala (1954-57), born in Santa Lucía Cotzumalguapa, Guatemala (d. 1957)
  • 1915-03-17 Hans Namuth, German-American photographer (Todos Santos, Guatemala)
  • 1918-07-17 Carlos Manuel Arana Osorio, President of Guatemala (d. 2003)
  • 1935-03-27 Fr. Stanley Rother, American Roman Catholic priest, martyr and missionary to Guatemala, born in Okarche, Oklahoma (d. 1981)
  • 1942-12-26 Vinicio Cerezo, President of Guatemala (1986-91), born in Guatemala City
  • 1955-09-27 Thelma Aldana, Guatemalan judge and 11th Guatemalan Attorney General, born in Gualán, Zacapa
  • 1959-01-09 Rigoberta Menchú, K'iche' political activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate (1992), born in Chimel, Guatemala
  • 1964-01-19 Ricardo Arjona, Guatemalan singer, born in Jocotenango, Guatemala
  • 1979-09-15 Carlos Ruiz 'the Little Fish', Guatemalan football player, born in Guatemala City

Famous Deaths

  • 1924-09-24 Manuel Estrada Cabrera, 13th President of Guatemala (1898-1920), dies in prison at 66
  • 1946-04-23 Jesús Castillo, Guatemalan composer (Quiché Vinak), dies at 68
  • 1957-07-26 Carlos Castillo Armas, Dictator and President of Guatemala (1954-57), assassinated by a palace guard with leftist sympathies at 42
  • 1968-08-28 John Gordon Mein, US ambassador in Guatemala, dies
  • 1971-01-27 Jacobo Árbenz, President of Guatemala (1951-54); overthrown by CIA, dies at 57
  • 1981-07-28 Fr. Stanley Rother, American Roman Catholic priest, martyr and missionary to Guatemala, murdered at 46
  • 1990-09-11 Myrna Mack, Guatemalan anthropologist (b. 1949)
  • 1990-10-07 Juan Jose Arevalo, President of Guatemala (1945-51), dies
  • 1996-04-30 Julio Cesar Mendez Montenegro, President of Guatemala (1966-70), dies
  • 1997-02-18 Enrique Peralta Azurdia, Colonel and military President of Guatemala (1963-66), dies at 88
  • 2003-02-07 Augusto Monterroso, Guatemalan author (b. 1921)
  • 2003-12-06 Carlos Manuel Arana Osorio, President of Guatemala (b. 1918)
  • 2009-12-01 Gustavo Adolfo Palma, Guatemalan singer (b. 1920)