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  • 1500 B.C. Polynesians arrive from the west.
  • 500 B.C. Melanesians settle in Fiji, push Polynesians eastward.
  • A.D. 1300-1600 Polynesians, especially Tongans, invade from the east.
  • 1643 Abel Tasman sights Vanua Levu, other islands in Fiji.
  • 1774 Capt. James Cook visits Vatoa.
  • 1789 After the mutiny on the Bounty, Capt. William Bligh navigates his longboat through Fiji and is nearly captured by a war canoe.
  • 1808 Swedish mercenary Charlie Savage arrives at Bau and supplies guns to Chief Tanoa in successful wars to conquer western Fiji.
  • 1822 European settlement begins at Levuka.
  • 1830 First Christian missionaries arrive at Lakeba in the Lau Group.
  • 1840 A U.S. exploring expedition under Capt. John Wilkes visits the islands.
  • 1848 Prince Enele Ma'afu exerts Tongan control over eastern Fiji from outpost in Lau Group.
  • 1849 U.S. Consul John Brown Williams's home is burned and looted during July 4 celebrations; he blames Cakobau, high chief of eastern Viti Levu.
  • 1851 U.S. warship arrives, demands that Cakobau pay $5,000 for Williams's losses.
  • 1853 Cakobau is installed as high chief of Bau, highest post in Fiji.
  • 1855 United States claims against Cakobau grow to $40,000; U.S. warship arrives, claims some islands as mortgage.
  • 1858 Cakobau offers to cede Fiji to Britain for $40,000.
  • 1862 Britain rejects Cakobau's offer.
  • 1867 Unrest grows; Europeans crown Cakobau King of Bau; Rev. Thomas Baker is eaten.
  • 1868 Polynesia Company buys Suva in exchange for paying Cakobau's debts.
  • 1871 Europeans form central government at Levuka, make Cakobau king of Fiji.
  • 1874 Cakobau's government collapses; he and other chiefs cede Fiji to Britain without price tag.
  • 1875 Sir Arthur Gordon becomes first governor.
  • 1879 First Indians arrive as indentured laborers.
  • 1882 Capital moved from Levuka to Suva.
  • 1916 Recruitment of indentured Indians ends.
  • 1917 German Raider Count Felix von Luckner captured at Wakaya.
  • 1917-18 Fijian soldiers support Allies in World War I.
  • 1942-45 Fijians serve as scouts with Allied units in World War II; failure of Indians to volunteer angers Fijians.
  • 1956 First Legislative Council established, with Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna as speaker.
  • 1966 Fijian-dominated Alliance Party wins first elections.
  • 1969 Key compromises pave way for constitution and independence. Provision guarantees Fijian land ownership.
  • 1970 Fiji becomes independent; Alliance party leader Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara chosen as first prime minister.
  • 1987 Fijian-Indian coalition wins majority, names Dr. Timoci Bavadra as prime minister with Indian-majority cabinet. Col. Sitiveni Rabuka leads two bloodless military coups, installs interim government.
  • 1991 New constitution guaranteeing Fijian majority is promulgated.
  • 1992 Rabuka's party wins election; he becomes prime minister.
  • 1994 Second election cuts Rabuka's majority; he retains power in coalition with mixed-race general electors.
  • 1995 Rabuka appoints constitutional review commission.
  • 1998 Parliament adopts new constitution with 25 open seats holding balance of power.
  • 1999 Labor union leader Mahendra Chaudhry is elected as Fiji's first Indian prime minister.
  • 2000 Failed businessman George Speight leads insurrection, holds Chaudhry and other parliamentarians hostage. Military disbands constitution, appoints interim Fijian-led government under Laisenia Qarase, arrests Speight.
  • 2001 Fiji's supreme court upholds 1998 constitution; Qarase's Fijian nationalist party wins parliamentary majority in new elections.
  • 2002-04 Qarase releases some coup participants from prison, proposes "reconciliation" bill seen by others as amnesty.
  • 2006 Citing corruption and racism, Commodore Frank Bainimarama overthrows Qarase, installs interim government with Chaudhry as finance minister.
  • 2007 Bainimarama promises new elections by 2009.

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.