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60Mil BC
The Antilles Islands [of the West Indies] broke off from the Mesoamerican mainland about 60 million years ago. The islands of Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica and Puerto Rico comprise the Greater Antilles, and a group of smaller islands comprise the Lesser Antilles.
Links: Cuba, Jamaica, West Indies, Antilles, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1692 Jun 7
An earthquake struck Jamaica. It rearranged the geology, splitting the rocks, turning mountains to lakes, and engulfed two-thirds of Port Royal. On that day and subsequently, five thousand of the inhabitants died.
Links: Earthquake, Jamaica     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1720 Nov 20
Pirates Mary Read, Anne Bonny (b.~1700) and Captain Calico Jack Rackham were tried by an admiralty court in Jamaica. Rackham was found guilty and hanged the next day. Read and Bonny were also found guilty and sentenced to hang but pleaded pregnancy. Their sentences were commuted until they gave birth. Bonny was later pardoned but Read died in prison on Apr 28, 1721. Bonny, an Irish American pirate, had plied her trade in the Caribbean and died around 1782.
Links: USA, Jamaica, Pirates     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1789
English Thomas Clarkson and his fellow abolitionists published 700 posters with the image of the slave ship Brookes loaded with 482 slaves. The ship, owned by the Brookes family of Liverpool, operated between the Gold Coast of Africa and Jamaica.
Links: Britain, Africa, Jamaica, Ship, Slavery     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1792
The British St. George’s Bay Company transported a 2nd group of settlers to Freetown. This included 1,196 Blacks from Nova Scotia, 500 Jamaicans and dozens of rebellious slaves from other colonies.
Links: Canada, Britain, Sierra Leone, Black History, Jamaica     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1831 Dec 28
Samuel Sharp (1801-1832) led a slave uprising that was put down at great cost by the British. The Rebellion lasted for eight days and resulted in the death of around 186 Africans and 14 white planters or overseers. The white vengeance convicted over 750 rebel slaves, of which 138 were sentenced to death.
Links: Britain, Jamaica, Slavery     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1832 May 23
Samuel Sharp was hanged in Jamaica for leading a slave rebellion. He is survived by his immortal declaration: "I would rather die upon yonder gallows than live in slavery."
Links: Britain, Jamaica, Slavery     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1881 May 14
Mary Seacole (b.1805), Jamaican nurse, died. She is best known for her efforts in the Crimean War during the 1850s. She borrowed money to make the 4,000-mile (about 6500 km) journey by herself and distinguished herself treating battlefield wounded, often nursing wounded soldiers from both sides while under fire.
Links: Women, Medical, Jamaica     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1889
Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia opened a branch in Jamaica.
Links: Canada, Jamaica     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1908
Archie Lindo (d.1990), Jamaican playwright, was born.
Links: Jamaica, Playwright     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1940 Jun 10
Marcus Garvey (b.1887), Jamaica-born US black leader (Back to Africa Movement), died in London. In 1964 his remains were transferred to Jamaica, where he was proclaimed Jamaica’s first national hero. In 2008 Colin Grant authored “Negro With a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey.”
Links: USA, Black History, Jamaica, Biography     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1958 Jan 3
The British created the West Indies Federation with Lord Hailes as governor general. The federation lasted to 1962. It included Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad, Tobago and the Windward and Leeward Islands.
Links: Trinidad&Tobago, Jamaica, West Indies, Barbados, Windward & Leeward     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1958
1962
The Federation of West Indies of the British islands in the Caribbean comprising Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad, Tobago, and the Windward and Leeward island colonies.
Links: Trinidad&Tobago, Jamaica, West Indies, Barbados, Windward & Leeward     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1961 May 3
A British Colonial Office telegram stated the general guidance for keeping papers out of the hands of newly elected independent governments. Items should be disposed of if they "might embarrass members of the police, military forces, public servants or others eg police informers; might compromise sources of intelligence" -- or might be used "unethically" by incoming ministers. Under "Operation Legacy", officials in Kenya, Uganda, Malaysia, Tanzania, Jamaica and other former colonial territories were briefed on how to dispose of documents that "might embarrass Her Majesty's government." This was only made public in 2013.
Links: Britain, Malaysia, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Jamaica     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1962 May 31
The West Indies Federation, made up of Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Jamaica, and the Leeward and Windward Islands, broke up after 4 years following Jamaica’s passage of a referendum to end the alliance.
Links: Trinidad&Tobago, Jamaica, West Indies, Barbados, Windward & Leeward     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
1964
Leicester Hemingway, brother of Ernest Hemingway, put together floating platforms off the west coast of Jamaica and called it the Republic of New Atlantis. He hoped to create a marine research society and help protect Jamaican fishing.
Links: Jamaica, Fish     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1968 Dec
The pop song "Israelites" by Desmond Dekker (1941-2006), Jamaican singer, was released in Jamaica and soon became a worldwide hit. Dekker brought the sound of Jamaican ska music to the world.
Links: USA, Jamaica, Pop&Rock     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1971
Jamaica began protecting crocodiles by law. By 2013 a growing taste for crocodile meat and even eggs had conservationists worried that the reptiles might be wiped from the wild altogether.
Links: Jamaica, Reptile     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1972 Mar 2
In Jamaica Michael Manley (1924-1997, Socialist and champion of the nonaligned movement, was sworn in as prime minister.
Links: Jamaica     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1976
In Jamaica John Issa, businessman, founded the SuperClubs Int’l. Ltd.
Links: Jamaica     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1980 May 20
A fire in nursing home in Kingston, Jamaica, killed some 153 old women.
Links: Jamaica, Tragedy, Fire     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1980 Nov 1
Conservative Edward Seaga (b.1930) began serving as PM of Jamaica. He defeated Michael Manley as Jamaica was nearly bankrupt, and became a close ally of US Pres. Reagan. Seaga served as PM for the Labor Party until 1989.
Links: Jamaica     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1981 May 11
Bob Marley (b.1945), Jamaican reggae artist, died of brain cancer in Miami.
Links: USA, Florida, Jamaica, Pop&Rock, Brain, Cancer     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1984 May 8
The album "Legend," the greatest hits by Bob Marley (1945-1981) and the Wailers, was released. It became the best-selling reggae record of all time.
Links: USA, Jamaica, Pop&Rock     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1988 Sep 12
Hurricane Gilbert, called the storm of the century, smashed into the Gulf coast. It slammed into Jamaica with torrential rains and winds of 145 mph, killing 45 people and causing damage estimated at up to $1 billion. It also devastated the Yucatan peninsula and left 225 people dead. The storm hit the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, Cayman Islands and Mexico before striking Texas.
Links: Haiti, USA, Cuba, Mexico, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Texas, Dominican Rep., WeatherUS, Hurricane     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1989 Feb 10
In Jamaica Michael Manley (1924-1997) re-emerged and trounced Seaga in national elections. He dropped his anti-imperialist rhetoric and espoused capitalism, private investment and good relations with the US. He began an economic overhaul program.
Links: Jamaica     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1992 Feb 23
In Jamaica Lester Coke (aka Jim Brown), head of the infamous Shower Posse, died in a mysterious prison cell fire.
Links: Jamaica     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1992 Mar 28
In Jamaica Prime Minister Michael Manley stepped down from office. He was succeeded by P.J. Patterson.
Links: Jamaica     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1993
The ska music style was featured in the 4-disk set "Tougher Than Tough: The Story of Jamaican Music" on the Mango label.
Links: Jamaica, Pop&Rock     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1993
In Jamaica the Blue Mountains John Crow National park was established.
Links: Environment, Jamaica     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1994 Nov 16
The UN Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), ratified in 1993, took effect. Arvid Pardo (d.1999 at 85), Maltese delegate to the UN, proposed in 1967 that the bounty of the sea should be considered "the common heritage of mankind" and asked that some of the sea's wealth be used to bankroll a fund to help close the gap between rich and poor nations. The International Seabed Authority came into existence as the law took effect. The first Secretary-General of the Authority, Satya Nandan (Fiji) was elected in March 1996, and the Authority became fully operational as an autonomous international organization in June 1996, when it took over the premises and facilities in Kingston, Jamaica. The UN Law of the Sea treaty, which extended internationally recognized territorial waters to 200 miles offshore, came into force one year after the sixtieth state, Guyana, signed it.
Links: Malta, Environment, UN, Jamaica, Fiji, Fish     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1994
In Jamaica Michael Llewellyn was shot in the back when he tried to escape a beating by police at his house. His right leg was amputated below the knee as a result, and he was left unable use the remaining leg. In 2010 he was awarded $230,000 in compensation.
Links: Jamaica     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1994
1995
Jamaica’s government stepped in to bailout its banks. The bailout eventually cost roughly 40% of GDP. This money was borrowed from international lenders.
Links: Jamaica, Banking     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1997 Jan 30
In Jamaica it was reported that NAFTA has had devastating effects on the economy. Garment exports were down 7% and 7,000 jobs were lost.
Links: Jamaica     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1997 Mar 6
In Jamaica former Prime Minister Michael Manley (b.Dec 10, 1924) died.
Links: Jamaica     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
1997 Aug 20
In Jamaica prison guards walked off their jobs after a commissioner suggested that guards and prisoners use condoms to prevent AIDS. Anti-gay violence broke out and within a week 16 inmates were killed and 20 injured at Kingston’s Gen’l. Penitentiary and St. Catherine District Prison.
Links: Gays, Jamaica, AIDS     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1997 Dec 18
, In Jamaica In Parliamentary elections 2-term Prime Minister P.J. Patterson took a big lead over Edward Seaga. The People’s National Party won an absolute majority in the 60-seat parliament.
Links: Jamaica     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1997
Jamaica’s population was about 2.3 million.
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1998 May
In Jamaica the government raised fines for harassing tourists 100 times to $2,700 for first offenders along with night courts to handle officers appearances.
Links: Jamaica     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1998 Jul 2
Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Jamaica reported plans to establish the Caribbean Court of Justice in 1999 and planned to change their constitutions to free themselves of the British Privy Council. The effort was pushed to establish the death penalty.
Links: Trinidad&Tobago, Jamaica, West Indies, Barbados, Guyana     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
Timelines
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1998 Oct 22
1998 Nov 9
Hurricane Mitch was one of the Caribbean's deadliest storms ever causing at least at least 9,000 deaths in Central America. The storm hit Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Jamaica, and Costa Rica.
Links: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Mexico, Jamaica, Hurricane     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1998 Nov 20
Rolando Alphonso, tenor saxophonist for the ska group Skatalites, died at age 67. He was an original member of the Jamaican group that was formed in 1964.
Links: Jamaica, Pop&Rock     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1999 Apr 21
In Jamaica at least 6 people were killed and 2 dozen injured in Kingston during protests against new tax increases.
Links: Jamaica     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1999 Jul 6
In Jamaica Michael Wallace, musician in the reggae group Third World, was shot dead in a suspected robbery. Some 22 murders were reported in this one week and 486 murders since the start of the year.
Links: Jamaica     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1999 Jul 9
In Jamaica Vivian Blake, alleged leader of the Shower Posse, was extradited to Miami. His gang was blamed for 1,400 murders in several US states during the 1980s.
Links: USA, Jamaica     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1999 Jul 14
In Jamaica troops were deployed in Kingston to control gang violence. Some 500 people had been murdered since the start of the year.
Links: Jamaica     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2000 Apr 13
US drug agents arrested at least 45 people in a Jamaican-led marijuana ring that bribed FedEx workers to distribute the drug for East Coast markets. 22 of those arrested were FedEx employees.
Links: USA, Jamaica, Drugs     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2001 Mar 14
Seven men were killed by police in a Kingston, Jamaica, suburb during an alleged shootout. 3 of the dead were under 18. In 2003 five police officers were charged with murder in the deaths of the 7 young men.
Links: Jamaica     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2001 Jul 7
In Jamaica a police crackdown began in Kingston following 2 months of fighting between gangs that killed 37 people. The murder rate for the country had reached 530 for the half year.
Links: Jamaica     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2001 Jul 9
In Jamaica PM Patterson ordered the army deployed across the island to restore calm following 3 days of violence that killed at least 28 people.
Links: Jamaica     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2001 Aug 16
A Jamaica government commission recommended that marijuana, aka ganja, be legalized for personal use by adults.
Links: Jamaica, Drugs     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2001
In Jamaica some 1300 people were killed this year.
Links: Jamaica     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2002 Sep 29
Hurricane Lili killed 3 people in Jamaica and headed for Cuba.
Links: Cuba, Jamaica, Hurricane     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2002 Oct 15
In Jamaica 3 people were shot dead outside Kingston.
Links: Jamaica     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2002 Oct 16
In Jamaica Prime Minister P.J. Patterson's party became the country's first leader elected to three straight terms. Jamaicans turned out in large numbers to vote despite pelting rains and concerns of violence in an election they hoped would revive a sagging economy and ease spiraling crime.
Links: Jamaica     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
2002 Nov 17
In Jamaica gunmen opened fire outside a busy street market in a rare daylight attack in Kingston, killing five people and injuring three.
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2003 Aug 29
Excel Motors, a fledgling Jamaican automaker, exported the Caribbean island's first locally manufactured car to the Bahamas. The two-door Island Cruiser, one of 22 built this year at the company's plant in western Jamaica, sold for $11,500.
Links: Bahamas, Jamaica, Cars     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2003 Oct 23
A 3-day dominos tournament began at the Ocho Rios resort in Jamaica.
Links: Jamaica, Games     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2003 Oct 25
Thousands of Jamaicans rioted near Montego Bay's airport, burning buses and blocking roads to protest the killings of two elderly men by police in an alleged shootout.
Links: Jamaica     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2004 Feb 13
In Jamaica hundreds of people rioted in Kingston, attacking a police station and setting cars ablaze after a policeman allegedly shot and wounded a high-school student.
Links: Jamaica     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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