Timeline Tonga

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The Tonga archipelago is 1245 miles northeast of New Zealand. It is composed of 171 islands and islets in 3 main groups named: Tongatapu, Ha’apai, and Vava’u.
    (SFEC, 5/28/00, p.T10)

1826        Methodist missionaries arrived from Australia.
    (SFEC, 5/28/00, p.T10)

1875        Taufa’ahau Tupou authored a constitution for Tonga.
    (SSFC, 6/16/02, p.A18)

1875        The kingdom of Tonga adopted a constitution written by a Methodist missionary. It declared that the Sabboth is forever sacred.
    (WSJ, 7/20/95, p. a-10)

1900        May 18, Britain proclaimed a protectorate over kingdom of Tonga.
    (SC, 5/18/02)

1918        Jul 4, Taufa’ahau Tupou IV, king of Tonga (1965-2006), was born.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taufa'ahau_Tupou_IV)(WSJ, 9/11/06, p.A1)

1965        Dec 16, Taufa’ahau Tupou IV (1918-2006) became king of Tonga following the death of his mother Queen Salote Tupou III.
    (SSFC, 6/16/02, p.A18)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taufa'ahau_Tupou_IV)

1966        May 19, A tortoise, reportedly given to Tonga's King by Capt. Cook in 1773), died.
    (MC, 5/19/02)

1970        The South Pacific islands of Tonga gained independence from Britain.
    (SFC, 7/1/97, p.A9)

1971        Australia joined with New Zealand and 14 independent of self-governing island nations to form the South Pacific Forum. The name was changed in 2000 to Pacific Islands Forum. Member states include: Australia, the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. Since 2006, associate members territories are New Caledonia and French Polynesia. In 2011 Guam, the Northern Marianas and American Samoa became associate members.
    (Econ, 10/20/07, p.61)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_Islands_Forum)(Econ., 2/13/21, p.41)

1971        Michael Oliver, a Las Vegas-based libertarian activist, created the Republic of Minerva by dumping sand on the Minerva Reefs 310 miles southwest of Tonga. He proclaimed independence in 1972, but Tonga annexed the place and it soon sank.
    (Econ, 12/24/05, p.84)

1976        Oct 14, Deborah Gardner (23) was stabbed (22 times) to death in Tonga by Dennis Priven (24), a fellow Peace Corps volunteer. In 2004 Philip Weiss authored “American Taboo: A Murder in the Peace Corps."

1997        Jun 6, Eric Lyons and Eric Gullichsen went live with an automated web site that allowed people to register Web sites with the .to domain, the country-code letters of Tonga.
    (WSJ, 12/8/97, p.B21E)

1998        Dec 27, In Tonga Cyclone Cora hit the islands and destroyed all the banana trees.
    (SFC, 12/28/98, p.B1)

2000        May, King Taufa’ahauTupou IV (81) served as the monarch. His work included efforts to put his people on a national diet.
    (SFEC, 5/28/00, p.T10)(SFC, 7/13/01, p.A16)

2002        Jun 3, King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV filed suit against Millennium Asset Management and Jesse Bogdonoff for the loss of some $26 million.
    (SSFC, 6/16/02, p.A18)

2004        Apr, the royal Tongan airline collapsed.
    (Econ, 10/2/04, p.44)

2004        Tonga’s King Tupou IV (1918-2006) announced that he would henceforth include people's representatives in the 12-member appointed cabinet.

2005        In Tonga popularly elected politicians joined the royal government for the 1st time.
    (Econ, 5/3/08, p.52)

2006        Mar 31, In Tonga Dr. Fred Sevele agreed to serve as PM, making him the first commoner to lead the government in living memory.
    (www.taimiotonga.com/Taimi/News.asp?db=1&N_ID=448)(Econ, 3/17/07, p.47)

2006        Jul 5, Prince Tu'ipelehake (56), a Tongan prince known for promoting political reform in his South Pacific island nation, died in a car crash along with his wife, Princess Kaimana (46) and driver Vinisia Hefa when a teenage driver, Edith Delgado (18), slammed into them on Highway 101 in Menlo Park, Ca. In 2007 Delgado was sentenced to 2 years in jail and 3 years probation.
    (AP, 7/7/06)(SFC, 7/7/06, p.B3)(SFC, 11/6/08, p.B2)

2006        Sep 10, Taufa’ahau Tupou IV (b.1918), King of Tonga, died in New Zealand. He was the son of Queen Salote Tupou III and her consort Prince Tungi, and served as the King of Tonga from the death of his mother in 1965.
    (WSJ, 9/11/06, p.A1)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taufa'ahau_Tupou_IV)

2006        Sep, King George Tupou V became king of Tonga.
    (Econ, 3/17/07, p.47)

2006        Nov 16, In Tonga youths infuriated by a lack of political reform attacked the prime minister's offices and other government buildings, smashing windows, looting shops and setting fires in Nuku’alofa, the capital of this near-feudal South Pacific kingdom. 8 people were killed and some four-fifths of the commercial district was destroyed.
    (AP, 11/16/06)(Econ, 11/25/06, p.42)

2006        Nov 18, Soldiers and police from New Zealand arrived in the Tongan capital to help restore order after mobs demanding democratic reforms destroyed much of the capital in unprecedented rioting that left at least eight people dead.
    (AP, 11/18/06)

2006        Dec 14, Tonga police said they have arrested more than 700 people in connection with a deadly riot that destroyed most of Tonga's capital in November.
    (AP, 12/14/06)

2008        Apr 24, Elections were held in Tonga as part of its transition to full democracy. The population numbered about 108,000.
    (Econ, 5/3/08, p.52)

2008        Jul 29, Tonga’s King George Tupou V announced he was ceding most of his executive powers to the democratically elected parliament.
    (SFC, 3/20/12, p.C5)

2008        Aug 1, King George Tupou V was crowned King of Tonga. His elaborate 5-day coronation cost some $2.5 million.
    (Econ, 8/9/08, p.42)(SFC, 3/20/12, p.C5)

2009        Aug 6, Rescue workers searched for missing people after the Princess Ashika ferry, carrying 149 passengers and crew, sank overnight off the coast of Tonga. 93 people were missing and feared dead.
    (SFC, 8/6/09, p.A2)(AP, 8/9/09)

2009        Sep 29, A magnitude 8.0-8.3 earthquake struck about 120 miles south of the islands of Samoa, population about 180,000 people, and American Samoa, a US territory of 65,000. Four tsunami waves 15 to 20 feet (4 to 6 meters) high roared ashore on American Samoa, reaching up to a mile (1.5km) inland. At least 142 were killed in Samoa and at least 32 on American Samoa and leaving dozens missing. Authorities in Tonga, south of the Samoas, confirmed at least 9 dead. In 2010 new research indicated that 2 great earthquakes caused the tsunami.
    (AP, 9/30/09)(AFP, 10/1/09)(AP, 10/5/09)(SSFC, 10/11/09, p.A14)(SFC, 8/19/10, p.A2)

2009        Nov, In Tonga Supreme Court judge Robert Shuster sentenced 2 boys, who had escaped from prison and stolen food, to 13 years in prison and six lashes from a "cat-o-nine-tails" whip at a hearing that only just come to light in February 2010. The 2 teenagers appealed the court ruling ordering them to be whipped, with supporters calling the punishment inhumane and a form of torture.
    (AP, 2/18/10)

2010        Feb 15, Cyclone Rene battered Tonga with powerful winds, cutting phone links, ripping off roofs and downing power lines in the South Pacific island nation.
    (AP, 2/15/10)

2010        Dec 21, In Tonga Noble Lord Tu’ivakano won a secret ballot among lawmakers to become the country’s first prime minister elected by parliament rather than appointed by King George Tupou V.
    (SFC, 12/21/10, p.A2)

2011        Oct 21, A 7.6 earthquake struck off the coast of Tonga, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
    (SFC, 10/22/11, p.A2)

2012        Mar 18, The king of Tonga George Tupou V (63), who brought democracy to the impoverished South Pacific island nation, died in Hong Kong. Next in line was his younger brother, Crown Prince Tupouto’a Lavaka Ata.
    (AFP, 3/18/12)(Econ, 3/24/12, p.43)

2013        Nov 7, China’s Vice Premier Wang Yang said China will provide a concessionary loan of up to $1 billion to Pacific island nations to support construction projects in a part of the world where Beijing and Taiwan compete for influence. He made the announcement at a forum with Pacific island nations in Guangzhou at a meeting attended by representatives from Micronesia, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, the Cook Islands, Tonga, Niue and Fiji.
    (Reuters, 11/8/13)

2014        Jan 11, Tonga declared a state of emergency in some parts as powerful Cyclone Ian slammed into the South Pacific island nation. At least one person was killed.
    (AFP, 1/11/14)(AP, 1/12/14)

2014        Dec, A volcanic eruption began in the Tonga archipelago creating the area’s 177th island.
    (Econ, 1/31/15, p.52)

2016        Jan 2, Tonga was raked by Category-2 Cyclone Ula with widespread damage.
    (http://tinyurl.com/hoj775m)(SSFC, 1/10/16, p.C18)

2016        Feb 5, The South Pacific kingdom of Tonga said it has a Zika epidemic after five people tested positive for the virus and another 265 are suspected of having it.
    (AP, 2/5/16)

2016        Apr 16, A 6.1 magnitude quake struck southeast of the Pacific island nation of Tonga, with no immediate reports of damage.
    (Reuters, 4/17/16)

2016        Jul, In Tonga Patricia Linne Kearney was found beaten to death. Her husband US citizen Dean Jay Fletcher, accused of the murder, escaped from jail and made his way to American Samoa where he was arrested and sent to Honolulu.
    (AP, 12/31/16)   

2016        Aug 12, A strong earthquake with a magnitude of 6.1 struck about 460 km (290 miles) southwest of the South Pacific island nation of Tonga.
    (Reuters, 8/12/16)

2018        Feb 12, Cyclone Gita it hit Tonga’s main island late today just south of the capital, Nuku'alofa. The cyclone destroyed homes, churches and even the nation's historic Parliament House.
    (AP, 2/14/18)

2018        Feb 13, The Pacific nation of Tonga began cleaning up damage from Cyclone Gita that destroyed its Parliament House, as well as homes and churches, and was intensifying as it headed toward nearby Fiji.
    (AP, 2/13/18)

2018        Aug 20, China said it will continue to provide aid to Tonga and other countries in the Pacific to help them achieve sustainable development, amid a mounting debt problem in the region.
    (Reuters, 8/20/18)

2019        Jan 20, Tonga lost internet contact after something went wrong with a fiber optic cable that connects it to the rest of the world. A small internet company that uses satellites soon stepped in to help restore int'l. calls and some other services.
    (SFC, 1/24/19, p.A2)

2020        Jan 10, The United Nations said seven countries -- Lebanon, Yemen, Venezuela, Central African Republic, Gambia, Lesotho and Tonga -- have fallen behind in their financial contributions and would not be able to in the 74th session of the General Assembly.
    (AFP, 1/11/20)

2020        Apr 6, Cyclone Harold made landfall on the largest island in Vanuatu, Espiritu Santo before hitting the Solomon Islands, Fiji and Tonga. The storm left more than two dozen people dead, and destroyed homes, buildings and crops in the four countries.
    (AP, 4/14/20)

2021        Nov 1, Tonga said its main island will go into lockdown for a week after the South Pacific nation reported its first case of the coronavirus. A traveler arriving from New Zealand had tested positive and isolated at a quarantine hotel.
    (AP, 11/1/21)

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