Iceland in History

Historical Events

  • 0930-06-23 World's oldest parliament, the Icelandic Parliament, the Alþingi (anglicised as Althing or Althingi), established
  • 1783-06-08 Laki volcano in southern Iceland begins 8-month eruption, killing 10,000 and causing widespread famines throughout Asia and Europe
  • 1783-07-29 Skaptar Volcano on Iceland erupts killing about 9,000
  • 1899-02-16 Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur Iceland's first football club is founded
  • 1918-12-01 Danish parliament passed an act to grant Iceland independence under Danish crown
  • 1929-05-08 Jan Mayen island, 500 km NNE of Iceland, incorporated into Norway
  • 1935-01-28 Iceland becomes 1st western country to legalize abortion
  • 1941-07-07 US forces land in Iceland to forestall Nazi invasion
  • 1941-10-31 Prior to US joining WWII, German submarine U-552 torpedoes US destroyer Reuben James near Iceland
  • 1942-03-20 Convoy PQ13 departs Reykjavik Iceland to Russia
  • 1942-06-27 PQ-17 convoy leaves Iceland for Archangelsk
  • 1944-05-24 Icelandic voters severe all ties with Denmark
  • 1944-06-16 Iceland adopts constitution
  • 1944-06-17 Iceland dissolves its union with Denmark and declares itself a Republic
  • 1949-03-30 Riot breaks out in Austurvöllur square in Reykjavík, when Iceland joins NATO
  • 1959-05-06 Iceland gunboats shoot at British fishing vessels

  • 1968-02-05 A fishing trawler from Hull sinks off the coast of Iceland
  • 1971-04-21 Original Codex Reguis (with Edda-liederen) returns to Iceland
  • 1973-01-23 Helgafell, island of Heimaey Iceland erupts for 1st time in 7,000 yrs
  • 1975-10-15 Iceland moves intl boundary from 50 to 200 miles
  • 1976-06-01 Great Britain and Iceland end the "cod war"
  • 1978-11-15 183 die as Icelandic Airlines DC-8 crashes in Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • 1985-11-14 Holmfriour Karlsdottir of Iceland, 22, crowned 35th Miss World

Conference of InterestReagan and Gorbachev

1986-10-11 Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev open talks at a summit in Reykjavik, Iceland
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US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev meet at the Reykjavik Summit in Iceland
US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev meet at the Reykjavik Summit in Iceland
  • 1987-12-26 "Les Miserables" opens at National Theatre of Iceland, Reykjavik
  • 1988-06-25 Iceland's President Vigdis Finnbogadóttir elected (90+%)
  • 1988-11-17 Linda Petursdottir of Iceland, 18, crowned 38th Miss World
  • 1991-02-12 Iceland recognizes Lithuania's independence

Music releaseAlbum Release

1993-07-05 Icelandic musician Björk releases her 1st solo album "Debut"

Singer Björk
  • 2002-05-23 The "55 parties" clause of the Kyoto protocol is reached after its ratification by Iceland
  • 2007-04-24 Iceland announces that Norway will shoulder the defense of Iceland during peacetime
  • 2008-10-24 Iceland receives a £1.3 billion bailout package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), 1st European country to require an emergency loan as a result of the financial crisis
  • 2009-02-01 Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir is elected as the first female Prime Minister of Iceland, becoming the first openly gay Head of Government in the modern world.
  • 2010-04-14 Icelandic Volcano Eyjafjallajökull begins erupting from the top crater in the centre of the glacier
  • 2010-04-15 Volcanic ash from the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland leads to the closure of airspace over most of Europe.
  • 2010-12-07 Iceland officially leaves the recession with growth of 1.2% in the third quarter
  • 2016-04-05 Iceland's Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson resigns after the Panama Papers leak show a conflict of interest
  • 2016-06-09 Successful attempts to turn CO2 gases into stone underground in Iceland published in the journal "Science"
  • 2016-06-26 Iceland’s presidential election is won by history professor Guðni Jóhannesson

Famous Birthdays

  • 1726-12-01 Eggert Olafsson, Icelandic writer
  • 1787-11-22 Rasmus Rask, Danish linguist and philologist (Investigation of the Origin of the Old Norse or Icelandic Language), born in Braendekilde, Denmark (d. 1832)
  • 1811-06-17 Jón Sigurðsson, Icelandic independence fighter and Icelandic historian, born in Hrafnseyri, Arnarfjörður, Iceland (d. 1879)
  • 1858-09-27 Þorsteinn Erlingsson, Icelandic poet (Pyrnar), born in Iceland (d. 1914)
  • 1880-06-19 Jóhann Sigurjónsson, Icelandic writer (Dr Rung), born in Laxamýri, Iceland (d. 1919)
  • 1881-02-27 Sveinn Bjornsson, 1st president of Iceland (1944-52)/poet (Figur ild)
  • 1889-03-12 Þórbergur Þórðarson, Icelandic author (d. 1974)
  • 1889-05-18 Gunnar Gunnarsson, Icelandic writer (The Church on the Mountain), born Fljótsdalur, Iceland (d. 1975)
  • 1892-01-19 Ólafur Thors, Icelandic Prime Minister (5 times between 1942-63), born in Borgarnes, Iceland (d. 1964)
  • 1893-10-12 Pall Isolfsson, Icelandic composer, born in Stokkseyri, Iceland (d. 1974)
  • 1894-05-13 Ásgeir Ásgeirsson, 2nd President of Iceland (d. 1972)
  • 1902-04-23 Halldór Laxness, Icelandic writer (Nobel 1955), born in Reykjavík, Iceland (d. 1998)
  • 1908-04-30 Bjarni Benediktsson, 13th Prime Minister of Iceland (1963-70), born in Reykjavík, Iceland (d. 1970)
  • 1915-05-29 Igor Buketoff, American conductor (Iceland Symphony Orchestra 1964-65), born in Hartford, Connecticut (d. 2001)
  • 1917-05-20 Bergur Sigurbjörnsson, Icelandic politician (d. 2005)
  • 1923-10-05 Albert Guðmundsson, Icelandic footballer and politician (Minister of Finance), born in Reykjavík, Iceland (d. 1994)
  • 1926-03-06 Jón Nordal, Icelandic composer (Choralis), born in Reykjavik
  • 1929-10-12 Magnús Magnússon, Icelandic television presenter, born in Reykjavik, Iceland (d. 2007)
  • 1930-04-15 Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, 4th President of Iceland (1980-96), born in Reykjavík, Iceland
  • 1943-05-14 Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of Iceland
  • 1945-01-14 Einar Hakonarson, Icelandic painter, born in Reykjavik, Iceland
  • 1945-04-07 Megas, Icelandic singer, songwriter and writer
  • 1945-09-21 Bjarni V Tryggvason, Reykjavik Iceland, astronaut (STS 85)
  • 1947-02-20 Eggert Magnusson, Icelandic football executive
  • 1947-03-04 Gunnar Hansen, Icelandic-born American actor (Leatherface in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre), born in Reykjavík (d. 2015)
  • 1947-03-29 Peter Hinchcliffe, co-founder (Iceland Frozen Foods)
  • 1949-08-22 Þórarinn Eldjárn, Icelandic writer (The Blue Tower), born in Reykjavik, Iceland
  • 1950-01-12 Dorrit Moussaieff, Israeli jewellery designer & businesswoman, born in Jerusalem, Israel
  • 1951-04-16 Björgvin Halldórsson, Icelandic singer, born in Hafnarfjörður, Iceland
  • 1954-12-11 Guðlaugur Kristinn Óttarsson, Icelandic musician, born in Iceland
  • 1955-08-08 Diddú, Icelandic soprano and songwriter
  • 1958-04-23 Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, Icelandic music composer, born in Reykjavík, Iceland
  • 1958-06-16 Jóhannes Helgason, Icelandic guitarist (Þeyr)
  • 1960-04-28 Jón Páll Sigmarsson, Icelandic strength athlete (d. 1993)
  • 1962-10-02 Sigtryggur Baldursson, Icelandic drummer (The Sugarcubes)
  • 1963-04-23 Magnús Ver Magnússon, Icelandic powerlifter (World's Strongest Man 1991, 94, 95, 96), born in Egilsstaðir, Iceland
  • 1964-01-22 Maria Ellingsen, Icelandic actress (Katrina-Santa Barbara), born in Reykjavik, Iceland
  • 1964-11-10 Magnús Scheving, Icelandic athlete, writer and producer (LazyTown), born in Borgarnes, Iceland
  • 1965-07-21 Gudni Bergsson, Icelandic footballer
  • 1965-10-25 Þorsteinn Bachmann, Icelandic actor (Life in a Fishbowl)

Person of interestBjörk

1965-11-21 Bjork, Icelandic singer (Like Someone in Love), born in Reykjavik, Iceland

Singer Björk
  • 1967-01-02 Jón Gnarr, Icelandic comedian
  • 1967-04-17 Birgitta Jonsdottir, Icelandic politician, Head of the Pirate Party, born in Reykjavík
  • 1968-02-05 Eyþór Guðjónsson, Icelandic actor, born in Iceland
  • 1969-01-24 Hilmir Snær Guðnason, Icelandic actor, born in Reykjavík, Iceland
  • 1974-05-02 Garðar Thór Cortes, Icelandic tenor, born in Reykjavík, Iceland
  • 1974-06-13 Selma Bjornsdottir, Icelandic singer (All Out of Luck), born in Reykjavík, Iceland
  • 1974-07-11 Hermann Hreiðarsson, Icelandic footballer
  • 1975-04-23 Jón Þór Birgisson, Icelandic musician and singer (Sigur Rós)
  • 1975-07-10 Stefán Karl Stefánsson, Icelandic actor (Lazytown), born in Hafnarfjörður, Iceland (d. 2018)
  • 1975-10-16 Brynjar Gunnarsson, Icelandic footballer
  • 1976-04-06 Georg Hólm, Icelandic musician
  • 1977-06-04 Berglind Icey, Icelandic actor
  • 1977-08-03 Tómas Lemarquis, Icelandic actor (Nói Albínói), born in Reykjavík, Iceland
  • 1977-08-20 Ívar Ingimarsson, Icelandic footballer, born in Reykjavík, Iceland
  • 1977-08-22 Heiðar Helguson, Icelandic footballer, born in Dalvík, Iceland
  • 1978-09-15 Eiður Guðjohnsen, Icelandic footballer
  • 1979-07-28 Birgitta Haukdal, Icelandic singer, born in Húsavík, Iceland
  • 1982-07-28 Ágústa Eva Erlendsdóttir, Icelandic singer and actress, born in Reykjavik, Iceland
  • 1983-04-01 Ólafur Ingi Skúlason, Icelandic soccer midfielder (36 caps; Zulte Waregem, Fylkir), born in Reykjavík, Iceland
  • 1985-11-27 Klara Ósk Elíasdóttir, Icelandic singer, born in Sweden
  • 1988-03-05 Bjarni Viðarsson, Icelandic footballer

Famous Weddings

  • 2013-10-05 Skateboarder and actor Bam Margera (34) weds Nicole Boyd in Reykjavík, Iceland

Famous Deaths

  • 1241-09-23 Snorri Sturluson, Icelandic historian, poet, and politician (b. 1178)
  • 1550-11-07 Jon Arason, the last Roman Catholic bishop of Iceland prior to the reformation, beheaded in Skalholt with his two sons Are and Bjorn. (b. 1484)
  • 1674-10-27 Hallgrímur Pétursson, Icelandic poet (b. 1614)
  • 1832-11-14 Rasmus Rask, Danish linguist and philologist (Investigation of the Origin of the Old Norse or Icelandic Language), dies of tuberculosis at 44
  • 1899-06-30 Jon Helgason, Icelandic poet (Ur Landsudri), dies
  • 1919-08-30 Jóhann Sigurjónsson, Icelandic writer (Dr Rung), dies at 39
  • 1922-12-13 Hannes Hafstein, Icelandic politician and poet (b. 1861)
  • 1952-01-25 Sveinn Bjornsson, Danish 1st President of Iceland (1944-52), dies at 70
  • 1964-12-31 Ólafur Thors, Icelandic Prime Minister (5 times between 1942-63), dies at 72
  • 1974-11-23 Pall Isolfsson, Icelandic composer, dies at 81
  • 1975-11-21 Gunnar Gunnarsson, Icelandic writer (The Church on the Mountain), dies at 86
  • 1993-01-16 Jón Páll Sigmarsson, Icelandic strength athlete (b. 1960)
  • 1994-04-07 Albert Guðmundsson, Icelandic footballer and politician (Minister of Finance), dies at 70
  • 1998-02-09 Laxness, Iceland's Nobel Literature laureate, dies at 95
  • 2001-09-07 Igor Buketoff, American conductor (Iceland Symphony Orchestra 1964-65), dies at 86
  • 2007-01-07 Magnús Magnússon, Icelandic television presenter, dies at 77
  • 2015-11-07 Gunnar Hansen, Icelandic-born American actor (Leatherface in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre), dies of cancer at 68