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Important Dates in the Philippines

1521 Ferdinand Magellan landed in the Philippines.
1543 Spanish Admiral Ruy Lopez de Villalobos visited the islands. He named them Las Felipinas in honor of the prince who became King Philip II of Spain.
1565 The Spanish established their first permanent settlement in the Philippines, on Cebu Island.
1571 The city of Manila was founded.

1762-1764 The British occupied Manila.

1834 The Spanish opened Manila to foreign trade.

1896 The Spanish executed Josť Rizal, a leader of the Philippines reform movement. Emilio Aguinaldo led a revolt against the Spanish.
1898 Spain ceded the Philippines to the United States after the Spanish-American War.
1899-1901 Aguinaldo led a revolt against U.S. rule.

1901 William Howard Taft became the first American Governor of the Philippines.
1916 The United States Congress granted the Philippines the right to elect its own Senate (it already had a popularly elected House of Representatives).

1935 The Commonwealth of the Philippines was established and Manuel Quezon became the first President.
1935 The United States sent General Douglas MacArthur to act as military adviser in preparation for potential Japanese aggression.

December 8, 1941 Japanese troops invaded the Philippines.
March 11, 1942 General MacArthur was forced to evacuate the Philippines.
May 6, 1942 The Japanese capture of the Philippines was completed.
October 20, 1944 United States forces landed at Leyte island.
July 5, 1945 General MacArthur announced the liberation of the Philippines.

1945 The Philippines became a United Nations charter member.
1946 The Republic of the Philippines was established and Manuel Roxas became its first President.
1947 The Philippines and the United States signed a military assistance pact, which included the granting of a 99-year lease to the United States on designated military, naval, and air bases.

1950-1954 The Philippine Army defeated the Communist-led Huk rebels.
1954 The Philippines joined the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO).

1962 The Philippines claimed British North Borneo (later called Sabah).
1969 Ferdinand Marcos became the first President to be elected to a second full term.

1973 A plebiscite gave Marcos the right to remain in office beyond the expiration of his term (December 1973).
1976 The capital was moved from Quezon City to Manila.

1986 Marcos and his wife were forced to flee the country; they eventually found exile in the United States. Corazon Aquino, widow of a former Marcos opponent, became President.

1991 Mount Pinatubo on Luzon erupted.

Ferdinand Magellan
Josť Rizal
Spanish-American War
William Howard Taft
General Douglas MacArthur
Ferdinand Marcos
Corazon Aquino
Mount Pinatubo

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The Robinson Library >> Philippines >> History

This page was last updated on June 15, 2018.