Our Rich History
By straddling the old and new worlds, our island often finds itself a player in history's crucial moments. And that is just how we like it.
A Quick Bermuda Timeline
1505 Spanish sea captain Juan de Bermúdez spots the uninhabited islands that will later bear his name.
1609 A violent storm wrecks the Jamestown-bound "Sea Venture" off St. George's Island. Sir George Somers and his entire crew miraculously survive, marking the beginning of the colonisation of our island.
1612 Our island is surrendered by the private Virginia Company to the Crown, making the island Britain's oldest colony.
1620 The first Bermuda Parliament convenes in St. Peter's Church.
1812 The United States declares war on Great Britain. Bermuda becomes a staging area for British troops on their way to fight the United States.
1815 The City of Hamilton succeeds the Town of St. George as Bermuda's capital.
1834 Bermuda's slaves are emancipated.
1844 Gibbs' Hill Lighthouse, the oldest cast iron lighthouse in the world is constructed.
1861 US Civil War begins and Bermudians make their fortune ferrying supplies and munitions to the Confederates.
1877 Mark Twain visits Bermuda for the first time and declares, "You can go to heaven if you want to, I'll stay here in Bermuda."
1883 Princess Louise, daughter of Queen Victoria, visits Bermuda and helps to promote Bermuda as a tourist destination.
1941 During WWII (1939-1945) Britain and the United States sign a 99-year lease that grants the US one-tenth of the land area of Bermuda for military purposes.
1964 The phrase "Bermuda Triangle" is coined, but the myth is finally debunked in the 1970s.
1995 US Navy and British Royal Navy close their bases in Bermuda.
2000 The Historic Town of St. George and related fortifications are named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.