TIMELINE
OF MALTA HISTORY

by Martin Debattista
 
 
 

B.C.

Pre-history and classical Malta (5000-218 B.C.)
 
5000  First human settlers. Ghar Dalam phase.
3600-2500  Megalithic temples constructed.
2000-1400 Bronze-using people.
800-480  Phoenician rule
700-600 Greek influence.
480-218 Carthaginian rule.
264-146  Punic Wars between Carthage and Rome.
218 Roman rule begins during the 2nd Punic War.

 

A.D.

Classical and Medieval Malta (60-1530)
 
60  Shipwreck of St. Paul the Apostle.
117-138  Islands become municipium under Emperor Hadrian.
395-870  Byzantine rule.
454  Islands occupied by the Vandals (?)
464  Islands occupied by the Goths (?)
533  Islands restored to Byzantine rule (?)
870-1090  Arab rule.
870 Aglabiti (Tunisian) Arabs invade Malta and expel the Byzantine.
1048  First Byzantine attempts to regain islands.
1091-1194  Norman rule.
1091 Count Roger of Hauteville, aka the Norman,  takes Malta and imposed taxes but leaves Arab rulers
1127 Roger II, Count Roger's son, establishes Norman rule
1122  Arab uprising fails.
1144  Second Byzantine attempt to regain islands.
1154  John made Bishop of Palermo and Malta.
1154-1205  Genoese influence.
1194-1266  Swabian rule.
1224  Final expulsion of Arabs from Sicily and Malta.
1266-1283  Angevin rule.  Creation of the Universita' (body of administration and not academic institution).
1282  Sicilian Vespers (uprising against Angevin (French) rule).
1283-1412  Aragonese rule.
1412-1530  Aragonese and Castilian rule.
1350  Establishment of Maltese Nobility.
1350-1357  First incorporation into Royal Domain (of Aragon)
1393-1397  Time of the Tyrants - Malta given to feudal lords.
1397-1420  Second incorporation into Royal Domain.
1420  Feudal possession of Don Antonio Cardona.
1425  Revolt against Don Consalvo de Monroy.
1429  Tunisian Saracens fail to capture of islands.
1428-1530  Last incorporation into Royal Domain.

 
The Knights of St. John (1530-1798)
 
1530           . Knights of St. John take possession
1551  Dragut, prominent Turkish corsair, raids Gozo.
1561  Inquisition officially established.
1565  Great Siege. Malta besieged by Turks but the Knights helped by the Maltese resist and win.
1566  Founding of Valletta, the new capital city named after Grand Master La Valette, hero of the Great Siege.
1568  Jean Parisot  La Valette buried in Valletta.
1571  Battle of Lepanto. Christian victory over Turks.
1573  Foundation stone laid for St. John's Co-Cathedral.
1592  Founding of Jesuits College, which later becomes the academic University of Malta.
1615  Wignacourt Aqueduct completed to supply fresh water to Valletta.
1676  School of Anatomy and Surgery founded at the Sacred Infirmary, the Knight's hospital in Valletta.
1732  Manoel Theater dedicated.
1768  Jesuits expelled and property transferred to the Knights by Papal Order.
1769  Conversion of Jesuits College to a University.
1775  Uprising of the priests brutally repressed.
1784  Creation of a legal code by Grand Master De Rohan.
1792  Possessions of the Knights of St. John  located in France seized by the French revolutionary government.

The French Occupation (1798-1800)
 
1798
June 9th
A French army under Napoleon Bonaparte invaded the Maltese Islands on its way to Egypt. The
Knights of St. John expelled after 268 years in Malta. Inquisition abolished.
1798
September 2nd
The Maltese revolt against the French when these confiscate property belonging to the Maltese Church. The French take refuge behind the walls of Valletta and Cottonera and a  two-year siege begins.
1799  Dun Mikiel Xerri and other Maltese executed by the French after a failed plot to storm the Valletta walls. The British take the islands under their protection in the name of the King of Two Sicilies. 
1800 
September 
The French surrender.

 
The British Period (1800-1964)
 
1800  The French capitulate. British rule begins.
1802  Treaty of Amiens. The Napoleonic Wars resume because of Malta.
1813  The Bathurst Constitution
1814  Treaty of Paris. Malta declared free of the plague.
1815  Congress of Vienna affirms Treaty of Paris.
1828  Vatican Church-State proclamation. Right of Sanctuary revoked.
1831  (Church) See of Malta made independent of See of Palermo.
 1833  Construction begins on Mosta dome.
1835  First Council of Government under British rule.
1839  Abolition of Press censorship. Laying of cornerstone for St. Paul's Anglican Cathedral.
1846  Carnival riots.
1849  Council of Government with elected members under British rule.
1869  Opening of the Suez Canal.
1870  Referendum on Ecclesiastics serving on Council of Government.
1881  Anglo-Egyptian Bank founded in Malta
1882  Creation of Executive Council under British rule.
1883  Malta Railway begins operation.
1885  First postage stamps issued.
1886  Surgeon Major David Bruce discovers microbe causing Malta Fever.
1887  Council of Government with "dual control" under British rule.
1888            . Construction begins on Royal Opera House. 
Simmons-Rampolla agreement (Vatican-British)
1903  Return to the 1849 form of Council of Government under British rule.
1904  Tram service begins.
1905  Dr. Themistocles Zammit discovers source of Malta Fever.
1912  Dun Karm writes his first poem in Maltese.
1914-18  World War I; Malta is not directly involved in the fighting but becomes known as the "Nurse of the Mediterranean".
1919  Sette Giugno riots sparked by cost of living. National Assembly convened.  
Self-government granted under British rule. The Malta Union of Teachers (MUT) is the first Maltese trade union. 
1921  First Parliament opens. Joseph Howard named Prime Minister.
1923  The Maltese National Anthem,  "Innu Malti" played first time in public. Dr. Francesco Buhagiar becomes Prime Minister.
1924  Sir Ugo P. Mifsud becomes Prime minister.
1927  Sir Gerald Strickland becomes Prime Minister. The Malta Labour Party comes to power for the first time together with Strickland's party.
1930  Constitution suspended because of a political-religious dispute between Strickland and the Church.
1931  Malta railway closes.
1932  Constitution restored under British rule. Sir Ugo Mifsud becomes Prime  Minister.

1933 
Constitution withdrawn as Fascist Italy increases its influence on Malta. Malta reverts to the Crown Colony status it held in 1813.
1934  Malti and English become dual official languages. 
The first official grammar for the Maltese Language published.
1935  Rediffusion Radio launched, with the aim of countering Fascist propaganda from Italy.
1936  Constitution revised to provide for nomination of members to Executive Council under British
rule.
 1939  Constitution revised to provide for an elected Council of Government under British rule. Germany invades Poland and WWII starts
1939-45  World War II.
1940  On June 11th the first Italian bombs are dropped in Malta
1941  Daring Italian e-boat attack on Grand Harbour fails. British aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious damaged, bombed, repaired and departs. The Germans join the Italians in bombing Malta.

1942 
Award of the George Cross to the people of Malta to honour their bravery. Operation Pedestal Convoy arrives in Grand Harbour and saves Malta from starvation and surrender.
1943  Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston  Churchill and King George VI visit Malta.  Invasion of Sicily    from Malta. Italy surrenders on the 8th of September and the Italian Fleet comes to Malta. The General Workers Union, Malta's largest trade union, set-up.

1945 
Churchill and Roosevelt meet in Malta prior to the Yalta Conference with Stalin.
1946  National Assembly results in 1947 constitution under British rule.
1947           . Self-government restored under British rule. Dr. Paul Boffa becomes Prime Minister with a landslide victory for the Malta Labour Party.
1949  A young ambitious politican, Dom Mintoff, brings a split in the MLP.

1950 
Dr. Enrico Mizzi becomes Prime Minister from September to December when he dies. Dr. Giorgio Borg Olivier becomes Prime minister in December.
1955  Dom Mintoff becomes Prime Minister. Roundtable Conference held to discuss Malta's future with Britain
1956  Referendum on Integration with Britain. 
1958  Dom Mintoff resigns as Prime Minister and a national strike called by the General Workers Union on the 18th of April ends in clashed between workers, police and British soldiers. Dr. Giorgio Borg Olivier declines forming alternative government. Colonial governor takes direct administration under British rule.

1959 
Interim Constitution provides for an Executive Council under British rule.
1961  Blood Commission provides for a new constitution allowing for a measure of self-government and
recognizing the "State" of Malta. Another political-religious struggle erupts between the Church led by Archbishop Gonzi and Mintoff's MLP.
1962  Dr. Giorgio Borg Olivier becomes Prime Minister.

 

Independent Malta (1964-to date)
 
11979 964  "Innu Malti" recognized as the national anthem. Referendum on Independence Constitution. Malta
granted independence, becoming a sovereign nation within the British Commonwealth.
1968  Central Bank established.
1970  Malta enters an Association agreement with the European Economic Community (EEC), today known as the European Union (EU).
1971  Dom Mintoff becomes Prime Minister after Malta Labour PArty wins general election in June. Sir Anthony Mamo becomes the first Maltese national to be named Governor General. He is the last one for the Maltese Islands.
1972  Military base agreement signed by Malta, the United Kingdom and other NATO nations. 
The King's Own Malta Regiment disbanded. 
Change to decimal monetary system. 
Government bars the U.S. Naval Forces from using Malta as a liberty port.
1973  Formation of Air Malta.
1974  Malta becomes a Republic, remaining in the Commonwealth. Sir Anthony Mamo elected first
President. 
Government increases its control over the University.
1975  Barclays Bank International, Ltd. taken over to become Mid-Med Bank.
1976  Dr. Anton Buttigieg becomes second President. 
Mintoff confirmed as {Prime Minister after Malta Labour Party is obtains win in general election
1977 Dr. Eddie Fenech Adami elected leader of the Nationalist Party.
1979 Military base agreement terminated. British forces leave. First Freedom Day celebrated on the 31st of March.
1981  The Malta Labour Party wins the general election by its majority of seats in Parliament, but the Opposition Nationalist Party has the absolute majority of votes. The Nationalist Party begins a protest campaign against the unjust election result.
1982  Agatha Barbara becomes third, and first female, President of Malta.
1984  Dr. Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici becomes Prime Minister after the resignation of Prime Minister Dom Mintoff.
Stand-off between the government and teachers in a seven-week strike following government's attempt to make private schooling free of charge.

1987 
Dr. Eddie Fenech Adami becomes Prime Minister following a Nationalist victory in the May general election.
1988  Freeport Corporation set-up.
1989  First gathering of Knights of St. John in Malta since their departure in 1798. 
U.S.-Soviet Summit meets in Malta to end the Cold War.
Dr. Vincent Tabone elected fourth President.
1990  Government formally applies for full membership in the European Community. 
Pope John Paul II makes the first Papal visit in Malta.
Prof. Guido De Marco elected President of 45th Annual UN General Assembly.
1991  Malta Cable Television given license as the first cable tv operator in Malta.
Two Vatican Agreements between the Malta Government and the Holy See signed in Rome. 
New Delimara Power Station begins operations.
1992  New Malta International Airport terminal inaugurated.
Nationalist Party wins election. Dr. Alfred Sant elected Leader of the Malta Labour Party as Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici steps down following his party's defeat.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in Malta for the 50th Anniversary of the awarding of the George Cross.
50th Anniversary of Operation Pedestal, popularly known as the 'Santa Marija Convoy'  celebrated. Stock Exchange opened. 
Maritime Museum opened in Vittoriosa.
1993  The European Union's first report on Malta says it is eligible for EU membership.
First University degree courses 
offered in Gozo. 
Government signs the Inter-     national Convention banning the use of chemical weapons.
The Fifth Games of the Small States of Europe held in Malta. First elections for Local Councils held.
1994  Dr. Ugo Mifsud Bonnici elected fifth President.
1996  Malta Labour Party wins the elections held in October. Dr. Alfred sworn in as Prime Minister of Malta.

1997 
Malta's application to join the EU is 'frozen' (suspended) but not withdrawn in accordance with the MLP's policy. MLP government instead seeks industrial free trade
zone and closer relations to EU but not membership.
1998  Dr. Alfred Sant calls for a snap election following a vote of no-confidence. Dr. Eddie Fenech Adami is  elected Prime Minister after the Nationalist Party wins the election.
1999  Prof. Guido de Marco appointed President of Malta.

 
  TO BE CONTINUED

(Source: Berg, Warren G. Historical Dictionary of Malta. Maryland, US: The Scarecrow Press, Inc. 1995. Miscellaneous other publications).


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