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700s Lucayans, seeking refuge from the cannibalistic Caribs, emigrate to The Bahamas from the Greater Antilles.

1492 Columbus makes his first landfall in the New World, most likely in San Salvador, although some historians dispute this.

1513 Ponce de León searches for the Fountain of Youth and discovers the Gulf Stream instead.

1629 England claims The Bahamas.

1640s First Western settlements are established, as the Company of Eleutherian Adventurers arrives.

1656 New Providence Island (site of Nassau) is settled.

1717 King George I orders Capt. Woodes Rogers, the first royal governor, to chase the pirates out of Nassau.

1776 The fledgling U.S. Navy captures Nassau but soon departs.

1782 The British Crown colony surrenders The Bahamas to Spain, which rules it for almost a year.

1783 Spain signs the Peace of Versailles, ceding The Bahamas to Britain.

1834 The United Kingdom Emancipation Act frees slaves throughout the British Empire.

1861-65 U.S. Civil War brings prosperity to The Bahamas by way of blockade-running. Nassau becomes a vital supply base for the Confederacy.

1919 The Bahamas revives from an economic slump by rum-running during America's Prohibition years.

1933 The American repeal of Prohibition causes an economic collapse on the islands.

1940 The Duke of Windsor, after renouncing England's throne, is named governor of The Bahamas as war rages in Europe.

1964 Sir Roland Symonette becomes the country's first premier. The Bahamas are granted internal self-government.

1967 Lynden Pindling is named premier in a close election.

1968 African-Bahamians assume control of their government.

1972 Bahamians vote for total independence from Britain.

1973 On July 9, the Union Jack in New Providence is lowered for the last time, ending more than 3 centuries of British rule.

1992 After 25 years in power, Prime Minister Pindling goes down in defeat. Hubert Ingraham, campaigning against corruption and recession, replaces him.

2002 Perry Gladstone Christie defeats Ingraham to become prime minister.

2007 Hubert Ingraham returns to power as prime minister.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.