Haiti in History

Historical Events

Historic Discovery

1492-12-05 Christopher Columbus discovers Hispaniola (El Espanola/Haiti)

  • 1492-12-26 1st Spanish settlement La Navidad in the New World is founded by Christopher Columbus (modern Môle-Saint-Nicolas in Haiti)
  • 1772-06-06 Haitian explorer Jean Baptiste-Pointe Dusable settles in Chicago
  • 1790-10-23 Slaves revolt in Haiti (later suppressed)
  • 1791-08-22 Haitian Slave Revolution begins under voodoo priest Boukman
  • 1793-08-29 Slaves in French colony of St Domingue (Haiti) freed
  • 1793-09-20 British troops under Major-general Williamson lands on (French) Haiti

Historic Event

1794-05-06 Haiti, under Toussaint Louverture, revolts against France

Historic Event

1802-08-07 Napoleon orders re-instatement of slavery on St Domingue (Haiti)

  • 1803-11-18 Battle of Vertieres; Haitian population inflict final defeat on French force attempting to quell slave rebellion on colony of Saint-Dominque
  • 1803-11-29 Dessalines & Christophe declare St Domingue (Haiti) independent
  • 1804-01-01 Haiti gains independence from France (National Day), making it the only state ever founded by former slaves and without slavery
  • 1804-03-29 Thousands of Whites massacred in Haiti
  • 1806-10-17 Former leader of the Haitian Revolution, Emperor Jacques I of Haiti is assassinated
  • 1822-02-09 Haiti invades the newly founded Dominican Republic.
  • 1844-02-27 Dominican Republic gains independence from Haiti (National Day)
  • 1869-04-16 Ebenezer Bassett, 1st African American diplomat, begins service as Minister to Haiti
  • 1874-11-03 James Theodore Holly, elected bishop of Haiti
  • 1877-09-27 John Mercer Langston named minister of Haiti
  • 1885-05-07 John E W Thompson named US minister to Haiti

Historic Event

1889-07-01 Frederick Douglass named US Minister to Haiti

  • 1891-09-03 John Stephens Durham named US minister to Haiti
  • 1897-06-17 William Frank Powell, NJ educator, named minister to Haiti
  • 1905-11-23 Henry Watson Furness, an American physician from Indiana is named US minister to Haiti
  • 1908-12-04 Haiti's president General Alexis Nord flees from military coup
  • 1911-08-02 Haiti's dictator Simon flees on US warship near Jamaica
  • 1911-08-14 General Leconte appointed temporary President of Haiti
  • 1914-02-08 General Zamon becomes President of Haiti
  • 1915-01-27 US Marines occupy Haiti

Historic Event

1915-07-28 Because of virtual anarchy, US Marines go ashore in Haiti on orders from President Woodrow Wilson; this will lead to an occupation that will last until 1934

  • 1915-09-16 US takes control of customs & finances of Haiti for 10 years
  • 1928-09-09 Silvio Cator of Haiti, sets then long jump record at 26' ½"
  • 1934-08-06 US troops leave Haiti, which had been occupied since 1915
  • 1934-08-15 US ends occupation of Haiti after 19 years; started after the 1915 assassination of Haiti's president
  • 1935-10-25 Hurricane-produced floods kill 2,000 in Jeremie & Jacmel Haiti
  • 1947-10-01 US control of Haitian customs & governmental revenue ends

Election of Interest

1954-09-25 Francois "Doc" Duvalier wins Haitian presidential election

  • 1954-10-05 Hurricane Hazel forms in the Caribbean, killing 400-1000 people in the Bahamas and Haiti
  • 1963-10-03 Hurricane Flora hits Haiti; about 5,000 die & 100,000 injured
  • 1963-10-04 -8] Hurricane Flora, kills 6,000 in Cuba & Haiti
  • 1963-10-07 Hurricane Flora hits Haiti & Dominican Republic, kills 7,190
  • 1963-10-09 Hurricane Flora ravages Cuba & Haiti, kills 6,000
  • 1968-05-24 Haiti closes down shortwave station 4VEH for 40 days
  • 1983-08-27 Haiti adopts constitution

Historic Event

1986-02-07 Haiti's President-for-Life Jean-Claude Duvalier flees to France: Henri Namphy becomes leader of Haiti

  • 1986-12-07 President Jean-Claude Duvalier flees Haiti
  • 1987-09-11 Shoot out at Jean-Bertrand Aristides' church in Haiti, 12 die
  • 1988-01-17 Leslie Manigay elected President of Haiti
  • 1988-06-19 Namphy takes control of Haitian government
  • 1988-06-20 Coup in Haiti: Henri Namphy overthrows Leslie Manigat, general assembly dissolved
  • 1988-09-18 Coup in Haiti: General Prosper Avril takes control, Henri Namphy flees
  • 1990-03-10 Prosper Avril resigns as President of Haiti
  • 1990-12-16 Rev. Jean-Bertrand Aristide elected President of Haiti
  • 1991-02-07 Jean-Bertrand Aristide sworn in as Haiti's 1st elected president
  • 1991-09-30 Rev Jean Betrand Aristide ousted as president of Haiti
  • 1991-10-10 US cuts all foreign aid to Haiti

Historic Event

1992-05-23 US President George H. W. Bush orders Coast Guard to intercept boats with Haitian refugees

  • 1993-02-17 Haitian ferry boat capsize in storm, 800-2,000 die
  • 1993-06-08 Premier Marc Bazin of Haiti resigns
  • 1993-06-23 United Nations authorizes worldwide oil embargo against Haiti
  • 1993-10-11 US warship Harlan County anchors off Port-au-Prince Haiti
  • 1993-10-19 UN authorizes arms, military and police supply embargo against Haiti
  • 1993-12-15 Haitian premier Robert Malval resigns
  • 1994-02-15 US asks Aristide to adopt a peace plan from Haiti
  • 1994-04-23 Army shoots to death 23-40 fishermen in Gonaives, Haiti
  • 1994-07-05 The United States announces it will no longer accept unrestricted immigration from Haiti
  • 1994-07-31 UN votes 12-0 (2 abstentions) to authorize use of force against Haiti
  • 1994-09-19 3,000 US militia lands on Haiti
  • 1994-10-10 Lt-general Raoul Cedras resigns as dictator of Haiti
  • 1994-10-15 President Jean-Baptiste Aristide returns to Haiti
  • 1994-11-08 Haitian government of Smarck Michel forms

Election of Interest

1995-12-17 René Préval wins the Haiti presidential elections for the Fanmi Lavalas party

  • 1996-01-11 Haiti becomes a member of the Berne Convention copyright treaty
  • 2004-02-05 Rebels from the Revolutionary Artibonite Resistance Front capture the city of Gonaïves, starting the 2004 Haiti rebellion
  • 2004-02-29 Jean-Bertrand Aristide resigns as President of Haiti following popular rebel uprising.
  • 2004-09-23 At least 1,070 in Haiti reported killed by floods due to Hurricane Jeanne
  • 2006-05-14 René Préval sworn in as President of Haiti for the second time

Earthquake Devastates Haiti

2010-01-12 Earthquake devastates Haiti, killing approximately 160,000 and destroying the majority of the capital Port-au-Prince

  • 2012-10-25 Hurricane Sandy makes landfall in Cuba and Haiti killing 65 people and causing over $80 million in damage
  • 2014-05-13 Unidentified shipwreck is discovered off the northern coast of Haiti by marine archaeologist Barry Clifford
  • 2016-09-28 Hurricane Matthew forms near the Windward Islands, will go on to kill over 1000 in Haiti, the Caribbean and the US
  • 2016-12-01 UN admits its peacekeepers were responsible for the cholera epidemic in Haiti in 2010 that killed 30,000
  • 2018-02-12 Oxfam deputy director resigns over charity's failure to deal with sexual misconduct allegations in Haiti and Chad
  • 2018-07-14 Haitian Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant resigns after violent protests against fuel price rises
  • 2019-02-17 Protests continue by thousands in streets of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, against government corruption and inflation
  • 2019-09-23 Haitian Senator Jean-Marie Ralph Féthière opens fire hitting a journalist leaving parliament in Port-au-Prince
  • 2020-02-13 Fire in US-run orphanage kills 15 children near Port-au-Prince, Haiti
  • 2021-02-25 More than 200 prisoners escape and 25 people are killed at Croix-des-Bouquets prison near Port-au-Prince, Haiti
  • 2021-07-07 Haiti president Jovenel Moïse assassinated in his home in Pétionville, Haiti, state of emergency declared across the country
  • 2021-08-14 7.2 magnitude earthquake strikes south-west Haiti near city of Les Cayes, killing at least 2,200 people, injuring many more and destroying 52,000 homes
  • 2021-09-18 US authorities begin moving, to repatriate, more than 10,000 mostly Haitian migrants living under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas
  • 2021-12-14 Fuel tanker explosion after an accident leaves at least 90 dead in city of Cap-Haitien, Haiti [1]

Famous Birthdays

  • 1767-10-06 Henri Christophe, President of Haiti (1807-11) and King of Haiti (1811-20), born in Grenada (d. 1820)

John James Audubon

1785-04-26 John James Audubon, American ornithologist and painter (The Birds of America), born in Les Cayes, Haiti (d. 1851)

  • 1900-10-09 Silvio Cator, Haitian athlete and long jumper (Olympic silver 1928), born in Cavaellon, Haiti (d. 1952)

François Duvalier

1907-04-14 François Duvalier "Papa Doc", Dictator and President of Haiti (1957-71), born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti (d. 1971)

  • 1907-06-04 Jacques Roumain, Haitian writer (Gouverneurs de la Rosée), born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti (d. 1944)
  • 1932-11-02 Henri Namphy, President of Haiti (1986-88), born in Cap-Haïtien, Haiti
  • 1936-08-25 Max Beauvoir, Haiti Chief Voodoo Priest, born in Haiti (d. 2015)
  • 1937-03-29 Smarck Michel, Haitian Prime Minister (1994-95), born in Saint-Marc, Haiti (d. 2012)

René Préval

1943-01-17 René Préval, President of Haiti (1996-2001, 2006-2011), born in Port-au-Prince (d. 2017)

Jean-Claude Duvalier

1951-07-03 Jean-Claude Duvalier "Baby Doc", Haitian dictator and deposed Haitian president-for-life (1971-86) infamous for his brutality, born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti (d. 2014)

  • 1953-07-15 Jean-Bertrand Aristide, president of Haiti (1991, 1994- )
  • 1957-09-06 Michaëlle Jean, 27th Governor-General of Canada, born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
  • 1966-11-26 Garcelle Beauvais, Haitian fashion model and actress (The Jamie Foxx Show), born in Saint-Marc, Haiti
  • 1967-07-12 Bruny Surin, Cap Haitien Haiti, Canadian 4X100m sprinter (Olympic gold 1996)
  • 1967-10-20 Luck Mervil, Haitian-Québécois actor and singer-songwriter, born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
  • 1968-06-26 Jovenel Moïse, Haitian politician, President of Haiti (2017-21), born in Trou-du-Nord, Haiti (d. 2021)
  • 1969-01-19 Edwidge Danticat, Haitian-American author, born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
  • 1969-10-17 Wyclef Jean, Haitian-American rapper and singer-songwriter, born in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti
  • 1971-08-26 Jocelyn Borgella, first person of Haitian descent to play in the NHL (Detroit Lions), born in Nassau, Bahamas
  • 1972-10-19 Pras [Prakazrel Michel], Haitian-American rapper, songwriter and producer (The Fugees - "Killing Me Softly"), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • 1989-11-24 Johnny Exantus, Haitian soccer player

Famous Weddings

Famous Deaths

Toussaint Louverture

1803-04-07 Toussaint Louverture, Haitian general, revolutionary and most famous of the leaders of the Haitian Revolution, dies while in prison in France at about 59

  • 1806-10-17 Jean Jacques Dessalines, Emperor of Haiti, dies
  • 1816-05-29 Madame Louverture, widow of Haiti's leader Toussaint Louverture, dies
  • 1820-10-08 Henri Christophe, President of Haiti (1807-11) and King of Haiti (1811-20), dies at 53
  • 1915-07-28 Vilbrun Guillaume Sam, Haitian rebellion leader, President of Haiti (1915), lynched by a mob at 56
  • 1944-08-18 Jacques Roumain, Haitian writer (Gouverneurs de la Rosée), dies at 37
  • 1952-07-21 Silvio Cator, Haitian athlete and long jumper (Olympic silver 1928), dies at 51
  • 1953-07-20 Dumarsaid Estime, President of Haiti (b. 1900)
  • 1993-09-11 Antoine Izmery, Haitian businessman/advisor to President Aristide, murdered by paramilitaries
  • 1993-10-14 Guy Malary, Haitian lawyer/minister of Justice, murdered at 50
  • 1994-08-28 Jean-Marie Vincent, Haitian pater, murdered
  • 1994-08-29 Jean-Marie Vincent, Haitian Catholic priest, shot dead
  • 1995-10-24 Emile Jonassaint, president of Haiti (1994), dies at 82
  • 2010-06-16 Marc Bazin, Haitian politician (b. 1932)
  • 2012-09-01 Smarck Michel, Haitian Prime Minister (1994-95), dies from a brain tumour

Jean-Claude Duvalier

2014-10-04 Jean-Claude Duvalier "Baby Doc", Haitian dictator and deposed Haitian president-for-life (1971-86) infamous for his brutality, dies of a heart attack at 63

  • 2015-09-12 Max Beauvoir, Haiti Chief Voodoo Priest, dies at 79

René Préval

2017-03-03 René Préval, President of Haiti (1996-2001, 2006-2011), dies of cardiac arrest at 74

  • 2021-07-07 Jovenel Moïse, Haitian politician, President of Haiti (2017-21), assassinated at 53