Grenada History

Grenada History

According to, Grenada is a Caribbean country located north of Trinidad and Tobago. The country consists of the islands of Grenada as well as the small islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique. There are over 600 small islands, most of which are uninhabited. The island has volcanic origins and the lakes Grand Etang and Antoine are formed in extinct craters.

Grenada’s population is about 100,000 (2013) spread over 340 Km 2. The capital and largest city is St. George’s, followed by Gouyave, Grenville, Victoria, Saint David’s, Sauteurs, and Hillsborough.

Grenada is divided into 6 parishes: Saint Andrew, Saint David, Saint George, Saint John, Saint Mark and Saint Patrick.

Grenada is famous for its spices and is also known as the “Spice island”. The country includes the Grenadines island chain, of which the largest islands are Carriacou (34 km 2 ) and Petite Martinique (2 km 2 ).


20 million BCE – Grenada was formed as an underwater volcano.

1498 – The first voyage of discovery to Grenada is led by Columbus, who was on his third voyage to the New World, but due to the hostility of the native Caribbean Indians, all attempts at colonization fell to the ground. Columbus named the island Concepcion.

1609 – Britain tries to establish a small colony, but fails, and it was the French who succeeded in driving the last 4 dozen cannibalistic Caribbean Indians away from the island in 1651 (they threw themselves off a cliff at the northern tip of the island) and they gained full control of the island in 1674, despite fierce opposition from the Caribbean.

1650 – French colonists from Martinique, establish a colony, and found St. George’s, the current capital today.

1705 – French colonists begin construction of Fort George. It was completed by the British.

1753 – The French colonists from Martinique had 100 sugar mills and 12,000 black slaves. By this time, the indigenous people were extinct.

1779 – The French fleet occupies Grenada on 4 July.

1783 – France cedes Grenada to Britain in accordance with the Treaty of Versailles, at a time when it has developed into a traditional Caribbean island with sugar plantations and African slaves as labor. The British introduced the production of cocoa, cotton and nutmeg – based on the use of slave labor. The number had risen to 24,000 in 1788, and it remained at this level until the abolition of slavery in 1838.

1834 – Slavery is abolished.

1885-1958 – Grenada serves as the administrative headquarters of the British Windward Islands.

1955 – Hurricane Janet hits Grenada on the morning of September 23 , destroying 75% of nutmeg trees, killing 122 people and injuring $ 65.8 million in ecosystem damage.

1958-1962 – Grenada becomes part of the British-sponsored Federation of West Indies.

1967 – Grenada is annexed by the United Kingdom.

1974 – The country gains independence on February 7.

1979 – The government led by the country’s first prime minister, Eric Gairy, is overthrown by a bloody coup by a group of communists ( New Jewel Movement ), which subsequently led to internal tensions in the communist wing, and in 1983 when the coup leader, Maurice Bishop was executed despite massive protests from the people on October 19, the United States and other Caribbean countries subsequently intervened and restored democracy.

1983 – The invasion of Grenada, codenamed Operation Urgent Fury, is a U.S. invasion of 1,800 Marines and Rangers by the island nation on October 25 in cooperation with Barbados, Jamaica and the Organization of the Eastern Caribbean (OECS) in response to Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard. Three days later, US forces had full control of the island.

2001 – Grenada is blacklisted by the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force for failing to address the money laundering problem. Grenada was taken off the list again the following year.

2002 – Major organic banana project launched in an attempt to boost industry; 150 barrels of land are set aside for organic farming.

2004 – Grenada suffers severe economic consequences ($ 1.1 billion) after 90% damage caused by Hurricane Ivan on September 7, killing 39 people. The Grenadian government estimated that 5,000 families had lost their homes. Only 1 in 10 houses stood intact.

On October 15, former President Jimmy Carter urges other international lenders to forgive part of Grenada’s debt, as the country needs to recover from the devastation from Ivan.

2005 – Taiwan formally cuts ties with Grenada on January 27, after accusing the small island of exploiting Chinese – Taiwan rivalry in hopes of gaining more financial support.

On July 14, Hurricane Emily hit Grenada with 145 km / h wind speed. Grenada had not yet recovered from Ivan the year before, but this time the deet resulted in a death and significant damage in the northern part of the country, incl. Carriacou, who had avoided the worst of Ivan. 16 houses were destroyed and and 200 more were damaged, crops were destroyed, as well as two of the main hospitals were flooded. The extent of damages amounted to $ 110.4 million.

2008 – Former and late Prime Minister Sir Eric Gairy is named the country’s first national hero on the 34th anniversary of independence.

2009 – The last 7 of the 17 men convicted of the 1983 coup and the murder of Maurice Bishop were released from prison after serving their sentences. They were Bernard Coard, Dave Bartholomew, Callistus Bernard, Leon Cornwall, Liam James, Ewart Layn e and Selwyn Strachan.

2011 – On December 26, 39-year-old Oscar Bartholomew was beaten until he lost consciousness by a total of 5 officers after lifting a plainclothes female officer and giving her a hug because he thought it was a friend. He died the following day in detention. Officers Kenton Hazzard and Wendell Sylvester were detained on Dec. 29. On January 1, 2012, officers Edward Gibson, Shaun Ganness and Ruddy Felix were also arrested and charged with complicity. Read more here.

2016 – On January 5, it was announced on that Oscar Bartholomew’s mother had committed suicide.

Grenada History