The History of Java

Historical Events

  • 1596-06-22 Cornelis de Houtmans fleet reaches Banten Java
  • 1596-09-05 Dutch fleet commander Cornelis de Houtman taken hostage in Java
  • 1596-09-07 Dutch fleet bombards Banten, Java
  • 1597-06-24 Cornelis de Houtman's Dutch fleet reaches Bantam, West Java
  • 1597-08-14 Cornelis de Houtmans fleet is 1st Dutch visit to Java
  • 1598-05-01 Jacob van Neck's merchant fleet departs for Java, modern day Indonesia
  • 1598-11-25 Jacob Cornelius van Neck's merchant fleet reaches Bantam, West-Java on second Dutch expedition to Indonesia
  • 1599-01-11 Jacob van Neck's fleet leaves Bantam, Java in modern day Indonesia with 1 million pounds of pepper and cloves and a further half a ship full of nutmeg, mace and cinnamon
  • 1599-07-19 Jacob van Necks merchant fleet leaves Java
  • 1619-03-12 Dutch settlement on Java changes name to Batavia
  • 1621-03-04 Jacarta, Java, renamed Batavia
  • 1628-08-27 Java: Sultan Agung of Mataram attacks Batavia
  • 1679-12-27 Dutch troops capture Madurees prince Trunudjojo in Java
  • 1755-02-13 Rebel leader Mangkubuni signs Treaty of Gianti Java
  • 1757-03-17 Prince Mas Saïd of Mataram surrenders to Mangkubumi in Java
  • 1772-08-11 Explosive eruption blows 4,000' off Papandayan Java, kills 3,000

Victory in Battle

1811-09-18 British East India Company force led by Baron Minto conquers Java, part of the Dutch East Indies, Stamford Raffles appointed lieutenant governor

  • 1816-08-19 Java returns to Dutch rule after being controlled by the British for five years
  • 1822-10-08 First eruption of Galunggung in Java sends boiling sludge into valley
  • 1822-10-12 Second eruption of Galunggung in Java destroys summit of mountain
  • 1825-07-21 Java princess Dipo Negoro/Mangkubumi declare war on all non-islamics
  • 1826-07-30 Java prince Dipo Negoro surprise attacks Dutch colony, 82 killed
  • 1826-11-15 Dutch Business Me gets monopoly on opium trade in Java/Madura
  • 1827-01-01 Dutch Trade Company NHM gets opium monopoly on Java

Krakatoa: The World’s Mightiest Explosion

1883-08-27 Krakatoa volcano, west of Java in Indonesia, erupts with a force of 1,300 megatons and kills approximately 40,000 people

  • 1890-08-09 First 44 Javans arrive in Suriname to work 5 years on sugar plantations
  • 1916-06-17 1st national congress of Sarekat Islam at Bandoeng Java
  • 1919-05-19 Kelud volcano on Java, erupts killing 5,160
  • 1920-07-03 Java Technical School, Bandung, opens
  • 1924-10-01 1st Dutch airliner, the Fokker F.VII takes off from Amsterdam for Batavia (Java)
  • 1924-11-24 1st Dutch airliner, Fokker F.VII lands in Batavia (Java) after flying from Amsterdam
  • 1926-11-13 Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) uprising in Bantam, West Java
  • 1927-01-01 Communist uprising in West Java

Historic Event

1929-12-29 Dutch colonial authorities arrest Sukarno and other key PNI leaders in Java

  • 1941-12-12 European reservists on Java mobilize
  • 1942-02-03 1st Japanese air raid on Java
  • 1942-02-27 Battle of Java Sea began: 13 US warships sunk and 2 Japanese
  • 1942-02-28 Japanese land in Java, last Allied bastion in Dutch East Indies
  • 1942-03-01 3 day Battle of Java Sea ends, US suffers a major naval defeat
  • 1942-03-01 Japanese troops occupy Kalidjati airport in Java
  • 1942-03-02 Admiral Helfrich departs Java for Ceylon
  • 1942-03-08 KNIL, Dutch colonial army on Java, surrenders to Japanese armies
  • 1942-03-27 Japan forces Java to use "Tokyo time" 1½ hour forward
  • 1942-04-16 Japanese occupying army on Java installs film censorship
  • 1942-11-11 Lt-general Kumakashi Harada becomes Japanese commander on Java
  • 1943-01-09 Japanese government in Java limits sale & use of motorcars
  • 1943-03-15 Allied reconnaissance flight over Java

Historic Event

1943-07-07 -10] Japanese premier Hideki Tojo visits Java

  • 1943-10-03 Operations begin at PETA Java, defending (Japanese) fatherland
  • 1944-02-14 Anti-Japanese revolt on Java
  • 1944-05-17 -18] Allied air raid on Surabaja, Java
  • 1944-09-18 British submarine Tradewind torpedoes Junyo Maru: 5,600 killed, including 1,377 allied POWs and 4,200 Javanese slave labourers.
  • 1944-10-06 Royal Dutch Navy submarine Zwaardvis (Swordfish) sinks German submarine U168 in the Java Sea
  • 1945-01-28 Dutch airplanes dump pamphlets on Java
  • 1945-04-25 Allied air raid on Surabaja, Java
  • 1945-11-14 Java: Sutan Sjahrir appointed as forming government
  • 1947-07-20 1st political action of Netherlands Army on Java and Sumatra
  • 1948-12-19 2nd political action of Java/Sumatra
  • 1948-12-28 Middel-Java as a whole in Dutch hands
  • 1948-12-31 Dutch police actions up Java gone on strike
  • 1950-01-23 Rebel army of Dutch military officer Raymond Westerling occupies Bandung, Java
  • 1951-03-20 Indonesian army offensive against Darul Islam on Java
  • 1958-10-01 Britain transfers Christmas Island (south of Java) to Australia
  • 1985-01-21 Bomb attack on Borobudur temple in Java
  • 1994-06-03 5.9 earthquake/floods SE Java (150+ killed)
  • 1996-01-23 The first version of the Java programming language released
  • 2004-11-30 Lion Air Flight 538 crash lands in Surakarta, Central Java, Indonesia, killing 26
  • 2005-08-18 Massive power blackout hits the Indonesian island of Java, affecting almost 100 million people.
  • 2006-05-26 The May 2006 Java earthquake kills over 5,700 people, leaves 200,000 homeless.
  • 2006-05-27 Earthquake strikes Java, Indonesia at 5:53:58 AM local time (22:53:58 UTC May 26) devastating Bantul and the city of Yogyakarta, killing over 6,600 people
  • 2013-09-27 At least 22 people are killed after a refugee ship capsizes off the island of Java
  • 2014-12-28 Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501 crashes in bad weather in the Java Sea, killing all 162 people on board

Famous Birthdays

  • 1565-04-02 Cornelis de Houtman, Dutch navigator (1st Dutch trip to Java), born in Gouda, Holland (d. 1599)
  • 1833-04-06 Johan H C Kern, Dutch linguist (Sanskrit, Old Javan)
  • 1865-03-01 Gerard Vissering, Dutch banker/president (Bank of Java)
  • 1870-02-13 Leopold Godowsky, Polish-American pianist, composer (Java Suite; Triakontameron; 53 Studies on Chopin's Études), and pedagogue, born in Žasliai, Russian Empire (now Lithuania), (d. 1938)
  • 1879-04-21 Kartini, Indonesian national heroine, born in Jepara, Central Java, Dutch East Indies (d. 1904)
  • 1879-06-07 Joan Voûte, Dutch astronomer, born in Madioen, Java (d. 1963)
  • 1888-06-05 Raden Mas Noto Soeroto, Javanese poet (Melatiknoppen), born in Yogyakarta, Indonesia (d. 1951)
  • 1888-07-18 Alexander Rosemeier, Indonesian-Dutch painter, born in Soerakarta, Java (d. 1992)
  • 1889-04-28 Karel Doorman, Dutch rear admiral (Java Sea), born in Utrecht, Netherlands (d. 1942)
  • 1899-08-24 Johan Fabricius, Dutch novelist (Island of Demons), born in Bandung, Java, Indonesia (d. 1981)


1901-06-06 Sukarno, 1st President of Indonesia (1945-67), born in Surabaya, Java (d. 1970)

  • 1907-01-17 Henk Badings, Dutch opera composer (Orestes), born in Bandung, Java, Dutch East Indies (d. 1987)
  • 1909-11-06 Henk Bijvanck, Dutch composer, born in Kudus, Java (d. 1969)
  • 1911-07-10 Djuanda Kartawidjaja, 11th and final Prime Minister of Indonesia, born in Tasikmalaya, West Java, Dutch East Indies (d. 1963)
  • 1915-04-25 Aksel Quintus Bosz, Surinamese lawyer, born in Pasuruan, Java, Indonesia (d. 1993)


1921-06-08 Suharto, 2nd President of Indonesia (1967- 98), born in Yogyakarta, Java (d. 2008)

  • 1924-05-09 Bulat S Okudzjava, Russian author (Student!)
  • 1924-08-23 Siti Hartinah, Second First Lady of Indonesia, wife of President Suharto of Indonesia, born in Jaten village, Surakarta, Central Java (d. 1996)
  • 1925-02-06 Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Javanese author (Anak semua bangsa), born in Blora Regency, Indonesia (d. 2006)
  • 1925-04-04 Erna Spoorenberg, Dutch singer, born in Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia (d. 2004)
  • 1928-07-07 Ali Sadikin, Indonesian politician and governor of Jakarta (1966-77), born in Sumedang, West Java, Dutch East Indies (d. 2008)
  • 1933-08-03 Thé Tjong-Khing, Dutch illustrator of children books (Miep Diekman), born in Purworedjo, Java
  • 1934-07-19 Willem Nijholt, Dutch actor (De Nietsnut, Respect, Op Afbetaling), born in Gombong, Central Java
  • 1935-06-13 Christo [Javacheff], Bulgarian artist and wrapper (Running Fence, Wrapped Reichstag), born in Gabrovo, Kingdom of Bulgaria (d. 2020)
  • 1940-09-07 Abdurrahman Wahid, 4th President of Indonesia, born in Denanyar, East Java, Dutch East Indies (d. 2009)
  • 1970-11-30 Yayuk Basuki, Indonesian tennis player and politician, born in Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia
  • 1990-08-20 Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Dutch-Javanese Surinamese swimmer (Olympic gold 2008, 12), born in Sauwerd, Netherlands

Famous Weddings


1947-12-26 President of Indonesia Suharto (26) weds Siti Hartinah (24) in Surakarta at a traditional Javanese ceremony

Joko Widodo

1986-12-24 President of Indonesia Joko Widodo (25) weds Iriana (23) in Solo, Central Java

Famous Deaths

  • 1596-09-13 Pieter D Keyzer/Keyser, astronomer/navigator (Java)
  • 1599-09-11 Cornelis de Houtman, Dutch navigator (1st Dutch trip to Java), murder at 35
  • 1629-10-21 Tumengung Buraksa, Matarams/Javanese general, dies in battle
  • 1686-02-08 Francois Tak, Dutch diplomat on Java, murdered
  • 1722-04-14 Pieter Erberveld, German-Thai merchant on Java, Indonesia. He was accused of plotting a rebellion with the Javanese, tortured and executed at around 62
  • 1749-12-20 Pakubuwono II, susuhunan of Mataram Java, dies
  • 1938-11-21 Leopold Godowsky, Polish-American pianist, composer (Java Suite; Triakontameron; 53 Studies on Chopin's Études), and pedagogue, dies of stomach cancer at 68
  • 1942-02-27 Karel Doorman, Dutch rear-admiral (Java Sea), KIA at 52
  • 1945-09-16 Johannes "Pa" van der Steur, Dutch missionary and philanthropist (Java), dies at 80
  • 1951-11-25 Raden Mas Noto Soeroto, Javanese poet (Wayang Songs), dies at 63
  • 1992-05-08 Margaretha D. Ferguson-Wigerink, Dutch author (Fear on Java), dies at 71
  • 1992-12-24 Abdulkadir Widjojoatmodjo, Java diplomat, dies