Commonwealth in History

International Organisations: ASEAN - European Union - IMF - League of Nations - NATO - OPEC - United Nations - Warsaw Pact - World Bank

Historical Events

  • 1652-08-26 Battle of Plymouth: General-at-Sea George Ayscue of the Commonwealth of England attacked a convoy of the Dutch Republic commanded by Vice-Commodore Michiel de Ruyter. Dutch victory

Historic Event

1657-02-04 Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland, grants residency to Luis Caravajal

  • 1658-09-03 Richard Cromwell ("Tumbledown Dick") succeeds his father as Lord Protector of the Commonwealth

Historic Event

1768-02-29 Polish nobleman Casimir Pulaski joins the Bar Confederation to defend the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth against Russian influence

  • 1856-01-29 Victoria Cross established to acknowledge valour in the face of the enemy (United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries)
  • 1901-01-01 The Commonwealth of Australia is formed when the British (Imperial) Parliament Act, the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900, comes into effect

Historic Event

1910-08-31 Theodore Roosevelt makes a speech in Kansas advocating a 'square deal': property shall be 'the servant and not the master of the commonwealth'

  • 1914-10-01 The first division of Canadian troops, 33,000 sail for Britain; most Canadians are volunteers, anxious to prove their loyalty to the Commonwealth
  • 1921-06-21 The UK, the Dominions, and India, become the British Commonwealth of Nations
  • 1922-06-16 Irish republicans are beaten in a national election; the vote is in favor of the Treaty of London, which leaves the Irish Free State as a dominion within the British Commonwealth
  • 1923-09-26 The Commonwealth Conference is held in London, where Britain recognizes the right of the Dominions to make treaties with foreign powers
  • 1926-11-22 Imperial Conference ends, giving autonomy inside British Commonwealth
  • 1947-07-01 British Dominion Affairs office becomes Commonwealth Relations office
  • 1949-04-18 Republic of Ireland withdraws from British Commonwealth

Historic Event

1952-02-06 Queen Elizabeth II succeeds King George VI to the British throne and proclaimed Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms including Canada, Australia and New Zealand

  • 1954-07-30 5th British Empire Games and Commonwealth Games open in Vancouver, Canada
  • 1956-03-23 Pakistan proclaimed an Islamic republic in Commonwealth (National Day)
  • 1958-03-12 British Empire Day is renamed "Commonwealth Day"
  • 1958-07-18 6th British Empire Games and Commonwealth Games open in Cardiff, Wales
  • 1959-05-24 Empire Day renamed Commonwealth Day in Great Britain
  • 1960-05-09 Nigeria becomes a member of British Commonwealth
  • 1961-03-15 South Africa withdraws from British Commonwealth
  • 1961-03-17 South Africa leaves British Commonwealth
  • 1961-05-31 Union of South Africa becomes a republic, leaves Commonwealth
  • 1961-10-09 Tanganyika, in east Africa, becomes independent within British Commonwealth
  • 1961-11-16 United Kingdom limits immigration from Commonwealth countries
  • 1962-11-22 7th British Empire Games and Commonwealth Games open in Perth, Australia
  • 1962-12-09 Tanganyika becomes a republic within British Commonwealth
  • 1966-08-04 8th British Empire Games & Commonwealth Games open in Kingston, Jamaica; first Games held outside 'White Dominions'
  • 1970-04-24 Gambia becomes a republic within the Commonwealth
  • 1970-07-16 9th British Commonwealth Games open in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 1971-01-23 Britain allowed to sell arms to S. Africa, after Commonwealth Conference in Singapore ends in compromise

Historic Event

1971-11-25 British Labour Party leader Harold Wilson proposes Britain should work towards a withdrawal from Northern Ireland, and after 15 years; the Republic of Ireland could rejoin the British Commonwealth

  • 1972-01-30 Pakistan withdraws from the Commonwealth of Nations
  • 1972-04-19 Bangladesh becomes a member of the British Commonwealth
  • 1974-01-24 10th British Commonwealth Games open in Christchurch, New Zealand
  • 1978-08-03 11th Commonwealth Games open in Edmonton, Canada
  • 1982-09-30 12th Commonwealth Games open in Brisbane, Australia
  • 1986-07-13 Zola Budd and Annette Cowley are banned from the Commonwealth Games, a direct consequence of Britain's refusal to support economic sanctions against the apartheid government of South Africa
  • 1986-07-24 13th Commonwealth Games open in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 1986-11-03 Northern Mariana Islands becomes a Commonwealth associated with US
  • 1990-01-24 14th Commonwealth Games open in Auckland, New Zealand
  • 1991-01-15 Elizabeth II signs letters patent that allows Australia to institute its own Victoria Cross, the first Commonwealth realm to do so
  • 1992-03-12 Mauritius becomes a republic while remaining a member of the Commonwealth of Nations
  • 1994-08-18 15th Commonwealth Games open in Victoria, Canada
  • 1998-09-11 16th Commonwealth Games open in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia making Malaysia the first Asian country to host the games
  • 2002-07-25 17th Commonwealth Games open in Manchester, England
  • 2006-03-15 18th Commonwealth Games open in Melbourne, Australia
  • 2010-10-03 19th Commonwealth Games open in Delhi, India
  • 2014-07-23 20th Commonwealth Games open in Glasgow, Scotland
  • 2018-04-04 21st Commonwealth Games open in the Gold Coast, Australia

Historic Event

2018-04-20 Commonwealth countries decide Prince Charles will succeed Queen Elizabeth as the next head of the Commonwealth


Famous Birthdays

Daniel Gabriel FahrenheitDaniel Gabriel Fahrenheit (1686-1736)

1686-05-24 Dutch-German-Polish physicist, inventor, and scientific instrument maker, who invented the thermometer and the Fahrenheit scale, born in Danzig, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth

  • 1870-05-24 Jan Christiaan Smuts, Prime Minister of South Africa and proponent of Commonwealth & League of Nations, born in Bovenplaats, Cape Colony (d. 1950)
  • 1924-06-09 Peter Heatly, Scottish diver and Chairman of the Commonwealth Games Federation, born in Leith, Scotland (d. 2015)
  • 1926-04-17 Arthur Hockaday, Director-General (Commonwealth War Graves Commission), born in Plymouth

Famous Deaths

  • 1994-02-09 Arnold Smith, British 1st Secretary-General of Commonwealth (1965-75), dies at 79