Historical data

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Suriname's original inhabitants are American Indians or Amerindians. The name Suriname is derived from the Surinen, an Indian tribe that lived in the present Guyana area.


1492 "Discovery" of the New World by Christophorus Columbus. Start of the enslavement of the Americans.
1499 "Discovery"of the Nothern coast of South America by Amerigo Vespucci. In case you didn't know: The continent America was named afther this discovery traveller.
1613 Establishment of 50 Dutch families along the Corantijn river, the present West border of Suriname.
1630 The first English colonizers arrive.
1640 First slave transports by the West India Company (W.I.C.).
1650 - 1667 Suriname becomes the property of Sir Francis Willoughby of England.
1667 Conquest by the Zeelander Abraham Crijnssen. Zeeland is a province in the Netherlands.
1674 Revolt of the Indigenous and the Maroons under the leadership of Kaaikoesi and Ganimet.
1683 Zeeland sells Suriname to the West India Company (W.I.C.), the Sommelsdijck family and the city of Amsterdam.
1688 Mutiny in Suriname. Governor Van Sommelsdijk was Murdered.
1749 Peace Treaty with the Maroons of the Saramaccan tribe.
1765 - 1793 Guerrilla wars and the slave revolts under the leadership of Baron, Boni and Joli Coeur.
1804 - 1814 English interim Government.
1808 Prohibition of the slave trade by the English.
1836 Slave revolt in Coronie, a present province in Suriname.
1853 Start of the Chinese immigration.
1863 Official abolition of slavery on July 1sth of that year, 15 to 20 years after the English and the French stopped slavery in their colonies. The former slaves got contracts to work on the estates with payment for 10 years.
1873 June 5: Start of the British Indian immigration. Nowadays there a lot people living in Suriname, whose ancestors came from what is nowadays India.
1894 Start of the Javanese immigration. At first they would stay in Suriname for five years. Some of the Javanese people got the chance to move back. Other people was promised that they could go back to Indonesia, but that promise never was fulfilled.
1917 Establishment of the Surinaamse Bauxiet Maatshappij, the Suriname Bauxite Company.
1922 Suriname becomes part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
1931 - 1933 Hunger and labor revolts in Paramaribo.
1940 - 1942 Occupation by the U.S. Army to protect the strategically important bauxite industry from the Germans. The Germans came to Suriname in a ship called the Goslar. Someone got the chance to open a hatch of the ship. As a result of that the Goslar capsized and sank. The wreck still lies in the Suriname river in Paramaribo as a memory of this historic event.
1948 General suffrage.
1954 Establishment of the Statute for the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The first Suriname flag was introduced: The white flag with the five stars on it, each one representing one of the minority groups. The stars were connected with a ring to symbolize the unity.
1965 Hydro-electric power central at Afobaka in the province of Brokopondo.
1968 Establishment of the University of Suriname.
1975 Independence of Suriname on November 25 of that year.
1975 December 4: Suriname presents itself for the first time at the United Nations in New York.
1980 25 February: Coup d'etat.
1981 Establishment of the Staatsolie Maatschappij, the State Oil Company.
1982 December 8: Some people murdered as a result of a bad situation during that time.
1986 Guerilla warfare in the interior.
1987 First elections in years.
1990 The so called "Telephone coup".
1992 Framework Treaty signed between Suriname and the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
1995 The Republic of Suriname becomes a member of the CARICOM, The Caribbean Community.
1997 Suriname becomes a member of the Islamic Development Bank. Remember, that there are a lot of Islamic people living in Suriname.
2000 The Completition of the Bridge across the Suriname river.
2000 December 4: Henck Arron, the first Prime Minister in the independent Suriname and one of the men who made Suriname independent, suddenly dies in Alphen aan de Rijn while visiting the Netherlands.
2001 May 19: Fred Derby, trade-union leader, suddenly dies while playing soccer.
2001 October 19: Mr. Jagernath Lachmon, chairman of the Surinamese Parlement, dies while visiting the Netherlands. He like Mr. Arron had a very important role in realizing the independence of Suriname in 1975.

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