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A.D. 500-A.D. 1000 Maya civilization flourishes.

200-899 Maya Classical Period; Copán at its peak.

900 Copán is abandoned.

1502 Columbus sails along the coast of Honduras.

1525 Spain begins conquest of Honduras, which is accomplished only in 1539 after bitter struggles with the native population and rivals representing Spanish power centers in Mexico, Panama, and Hispaniola.

1537 The Spanish kill Lenca Indian chieftain Lempira.

1600s Northern coast falls to British buccaneers; British protectorate is established over the coast until 1860, while the Spanish concentrate on the inland area.

1797 Approximately 5,000 Garífuna from the island of San Vicente are dropped on Roatán.

1821 Honduras gains independence from Spain but joins the Mexican Empire the following year.

1823 Honduras joins the United Provinces of Central America, which also include Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.

1838 Honduras becomes an independent nation.

1859 American William Walker invades Nicaragua.

1859 The Bay Islands are ceded to Honduras by the British.

1860 William Walker is executed.

1880 The capital moves from Comayagua to Tegucigalpa.

1913 The United Fruit Company controls 2/3 of banana exports.

1969 The Soccer War breaks out with El Salvador. The war lasts 5 days, killing more than 2,000 Hondurans.

1971 Hurricane Edith destroys nearly every house at Cape Gracias.

1974 Hurricane Fifi kills 5,000.

1980 Copán becomes a UNESCO World Heritage site.

1982 U.S.-backed Nicaraguan Contras attempt to bring down Nicaragua's Sandinista government from Honduran territory.

1982-83 Political unrest leads General Alvarez to detain trade union activists and create Death Squads.

1984 U.S.-run training camps for Salvadoran counter-revolutionaries are shut down.

1990 The last remaining Nicaraguan Contras leave Honduras.

1998 Hurricane Mitch devastates Honduras.

2003 Congress sends troops to Iraq. A free trade agreement with the U.S. is formed, along with Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua.

2005 Manuel Zelaya of the Liberal Party is elected president.

2006 The Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) goes into effect.

2009 In June, after an attempt to alter the constitution, president Manuel Zelaya is removed from office and sent into exile. President of the Congress Roberto Micheletti is sworn in as interim president. In November, conservative Porfirio Lobo Sosa is elected the new President, and he is sworn in to office 2 months later.

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