Timeline of East Timorese history

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This is a timeline of East Timorese history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in East Timor and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see History of East Timor.

16th century[edit]

Year Date Event
1556 A group of Dominican friars established the village of Lifau.
1600 Portugal opened a trade route with East Timor.

17th century[edit]

18th century[edit]

Year Date Event
1702 The territory officially became a Portuguese colony, taking the name Portuguese Timor.
1769 The capital was moved to Dili.

19th century[edit]

Year Date Event
1859 The border between Portuguese Timor and the Dutch East Indies was formally decided.

20th century[edit]

Year Date Event
1910 Beginning of the Great Rebellion
1912 The rebellion was quashed with Portuguese troops from its colonies in Mozambique and Macau, resulting in the deaths of three thousand people.
1913 The Portuguese and Dutch agreed to a formal division of the island.
1916 A definitive border between Portuguese and Dutch territories was drawn in the Hague.
1941 Portuguese Timor was occupied by Australian and Dutch forces.
1974 Carnation Revolution: A revolution installed a new government.
1975 Indonesian invasion of East Timor: Indonesia invaded East Timor.
1976 Indonesian occupation of East Timor: Indonesia declared East Timor its 27th province.
1991 Santa Cruz massacre: Pro-independence demonstrators in the Santa Cruz cemetery are shot.
1996 The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo and José Ramos-Horta for their ongoing efforts to peacefully end the occupation.
1999 East Timor Special Autonomy Referendum: A referendum resulted in 78% in favour of independence from Indonesia.
The International Force for East Timor (INTERFET) arrived to address an ongoing humanitarian and security crisis.

21st century[edit]

Year Date Event
2002 East Timor became an independent nation.