Jamaica Historical Dates
Compiled from various Jamaican History
books by Donna Lewis Essix
In 1962 on April 10, a general election was
held. The Jamaica Labour Party won 26 seats, while the People's
National Party won the remaining 19 seats. The Government therefore
passed from the P.N.P. to the J.L.P. and Sir
Alexander Bustamante became Prime Minister.
Sir Kenneth Blackburne, last of the British
Governors, who had become Governor-General on August 6, left the
island on November 30. His place was taken by Senator Clifford
Campbell, who has nominated by the Queen on the recommendation
of the Prime Minister to be Jamaica's first native Governor-General.
Senator Campbell was immediately knighted by the Queen and became
Sir Clifford Campbell, G.C.M.G. He took up office on December
1 and moved into residence at King's House on the same day.
In 1963 on March 11, the Hon. Donald Sangster,
Minister of Finance, was appointed Deputy Prime Minister.
In November, from 39 contestants in London,
Miss Carol Joan Crawford was chosen "Miss World 1963".
This was the first time that a Jamaican was awarded this title.
Sir Alexander Bustamante was appointed a member
of the Privy Council of England in the Queen's New Year's Honours
Jamaica's first national hero, Marcus Garvey, was enshrined in State and Church
ceremonies at King George VI Memorial Park, on November 15. His
body was brought home from England where it had been buried.
In 1965 in January, Jamaica became a member
of the United Nations Human Rights Commission for the first time.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Nobel Peace Prize
winner and United States Civil Rights Leader, delivered the valedictory
sermon for graduating students of the University of the West Indies
on June 20. On the following day, June 21, Dr. King was presented
with the Keys to the City of Kingston at a civil reception at
the National Stadium.
The 100th anniversary of the Morant Bay Rebellion
was celebrated in this year. On October 11, at a ceremony in Morant
Bay, the burial spot for hundreds of victims of the harshness
of Governor John Eyre, was consecrated. The Acting Prime Minister
unveiled a statue of Paul Bogle in front
of the Court House. It was announced that in honour of Bogle,
a son of St. Thomas, the town of Morant Bay would be raised to
The climax of the 1865 Centenary celebrations
came at the National Shrine, George VI Memorial Park, on October
24, when a monument honouring Paul Bogle and George
William Gordon was dedicated. The ceremony at the National
Shrine followed a State Service in memorial to Bogle and Gordon
held in the East Queen Street Baptist Church in Kingston.
In 1966 on April 21, His Imperial Majesty Haile
Selassie 1, Emperor of Ethiopia, King of Kings, Conquering Lion
of Judah, arrived in Jamaica for a three-day state visit. H.I.M.
Haile Selassie addressed Members of both houses of the Jamaican
Parliament and, at a special ceremony at the University of the
West Indies, received the honorary degree of Doctors of Laws.
The Rt. Rev. Percival W. Gibson, C.B.E., D.D.,
the first Jamaican to be elevated to the office of Anglican Bishop
of Jamaica, retired from that office in September.
Jamaica officially became a member of CARIFTA
on August 1, 1968.
The Marcus Garvey Prize for Human Rights (5000
pounds), awarded posthumously to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was
presented in Jamaica to his widow, Mrs. Coretta King, on December
Norman Washington Manley,
Leader of the Opposition, resigned as such, and later from the
House of Representatives, during February, 1969. His son, Michael,
was elected as P.N.P. leader, and hence of the Parliamentary Opposition,
in his place.
The death of Normal Washington Manley occurred
on September 2, 1969. He was buried in the National Shrine area
of the King George VI Park on September 7, 1969.
The change-over of the decimal currency took
place on September 8,1969.
The holiday for the Queen's Birthday was discontinued,
and National Heroes Day was established on October 20, 1969, to
be celebrated on the third Monday in October each year thereafter.
The first National Heroes to be designated were the Rt. Excellent Paul Bogle, George William Gordon, Marcus
Mosiah Garvey, Norman Washington Manley (all deceased), and Sir.
William Alexander Bustamante.
The Statue of the Rt. Excellent Sir Alexander
Bustamente, Jamaica's only surviving National Hero, was unveiled
by Lady Bustamante, during a ceremony at the southern end of the
Victoria Park on May 24, 1970.
In September the House of Representatives decided
to increase the number of seats in the House from 45 to 53.
On February 23 the Hon. Donald Sangster, 1st
Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, was sworn in by the Governor-General,
Sir Clifford Campbell, as the 2nd Prime Minister of Jamaica.
Sir Donald Sangster, 55, Jamaica's second Prime
Minister, died on April 11 in the Montreal Neurological Institute,
Canada, where his strong constitution had been fighting a losing
battle against brain hemorrhage since March 21 when he was flown
to Montreal for specialist treatment.
On his death-bed, the Prime Minister was created
a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order by Her Majesty
Four hours after the sad news reached Jamaica,
the Hon. Hugh Lawson Shearer was sworn in as the Third Prime Minister
of Jamaica by the Governor-General, Sir Clifford Campbell.
The opening of the Third World Netball Tournament
at the National Stadium took place on December 30, 1970.
National Heroes' Day
was celebrated on October 18, 1971, with a military parade and
first investiture of purely Jamaican Awards at Up -Park Camp,
when the Rt. Excellent Sir Alexander Bustamante received his Order
of National Hero insignia from the Governor-General, Sir Clifford
Campbell, K.C.V.0., G.C.M.G.
The first Test Match of New Zealand's first
tour of the West Indies ended on February 22, 1972, in a draw
at Sabina Park. The Jamaican, Lawerence Rowe, set a record as
the first batsman to score centuries in both innings on his test
debut 214 and 100 not out.
Mr. Michael Manley was sworn in on March 2,
1972, as Jamaica's fourth Prime Minister by the Governor-General,
Sir Clifford Campbell, at King's House.
The Centenary celebrations of Kingston at the
capital of Jamaica opened on April 9, 1972, with Divine Service
at Kingston Parish Church.
The Hon. Michael Manley became Jamaica's second
Prime Minister in office to get married when on June 11, 1972,
he took as his bride Miss Beverly Anderson, 27-year-old radio
and television personality, in a private ceremony performed by
the Rev. Ashley A. Smith at the residence of Mr. Manley's mother,
Mrs. Edna Manley.
On June 27, Hon. Florizel A. Glasspole, C.D.,
was sworn in as Governor-General of Jamaica (the third since Jamaica
became independent in 1962) by Sir Herbert Duffus, acting Govenor-General
at a colorful ceremony at King's House in the presence of a large
and distinguished gathering comprised of his wife and relatives,
the Prime Minister, Hon. Michael Manley and Mrs. Beverly Manley,
Lady Duffus, Sir Clifford and Lady Campbell, high dignitaries
of Church, Military and State, Ministers of Government and their
wives, M.H.Rs. and their wives, the Mayor of Kingston, Members
of the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation, Foreign Diplomats
and their wives and a wide cross-section of citizens.
The Cabinet having decided that no British Titles
should be accepted by any future Governor-General, the new incumbent
in office was invested with the Jamaican Title "Order of
the Nation"(O.N.) which is second only to that of the Order
of National Hero.
In 1973 (May) the Government announced "Free
Education. No Tuition fees were to be paid for Secondary Schools
and the school services such as games, home economics, drama classes
would be free of cost as from September 1974. There was to be
free tuition for all Jamaicans admitted to the University of the
In July, 1973 Mr. Florizel Glasspole was sworn
in as Governor-General of Jamaica.
In October, Nanny of the Maroons and Samuel
Sharpe were declared National Heroes bringing the number of
Jamaican National Heroes to seven. Charles Square in Montego Bay
was named Sam Sharpe Square after the National hero.
In 1977 on August 6, Sir Alexander Bustamante
died at the age of 94 years. He was the last surviving National
hero of Jamaica.
In that same year Personal Travel Allowance
was reduced to $50 per year.
On October 18, Fidel Castro, President of Cuba
paid a six-day official visit to Jamaica.
On June 24, 1980, a plot was discovered by the
Jamaica Defence Force to overthrow the Government by force. 24
JDF personnel and three civilians were detained. All those tried
were eventually freed.
In April, 1981 the Governor-General, Mr. Florizel
Glasspole, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth on the recommendation
of the Prime Minister and was designated the Most Honourable Sir.
Florizel Glasspole, G.C.M.G., O.N.
On April 20, Robert Nester Marley, the Reggae
Superstar was invested with the Order of Merit (O.M.).
On May 1, Montego Bay was declared a city.
On May 11, Robert Nester Marley died in Miami
after a long illness.