Timeline of Maltese history

Timeline of Maltese history

This is a timeline of Maltese history, listing the key dates and events from the history of the Mediterranean islands of Malta and Gozo. For background information on the events, refer to History of Malta. See also Monarchs of Malta and Governors of Malta.TOCright

Neolithic era (5200 BCE - 4100 BCE0

*about 5200 BCE:
**Earliest settlers arrive on Malta from Sicily, cite news|url=http://www.islandofgozo.org/history.htm|publisher=IslandofGozo.org|title=Gozo|date=7 October 2007] as farmers, who grew barley, wheat, and leguminous plants, and raised pigs, cattle, sheep and goats.
**Għar Dalam phase.
**The fauna of the Maltese Islands includes deer, hippopotami and dwarf elephants, believed to be remnants from an earlier age, when Malta formed part of a land-bridge that connected Europe with the African continent.
*4850 BCE: Development of a village settlement at Skorba.
*4400 BCE to 4100 BCE: "Red Skorba" phase; baked clay figurines and statuettes.

=The Temple Culture (4100 BCE - 3000 BCE)=

*4100 BCE: A new wave of immigration to Malta; introduction of pear-shaped ceramic artefacts.
*4100 BCE to 3800 BCE: Construction of the Xagħra Stone Circle on the Island of Gozo.
*3600 BCE: Construction of the Ġgantija megalithic temple complex on the Island of Gozo.
*3600 BCE to 3000 BCE: Construction of Ta' Ħaġrat, Kordin III, Skorba and Tas-Silġ megalithic temples.
*3600 BCE to 2500 BCE: Construction of the Mnajdra and Ħaġar Qim temple complexes.
*3250 BCE to 3000 BCE: Construction of the Tarxien Temples.
*3000 BCE: Earliest evidence of cremation; some of the older megalithic temples are converted into necropoli.

Bronze Age / Iron Age (2500 BCE - 700 BCE)

*2500 BCE: Excavation of the Hypogeum of Ħal-Saflieni, an underground sanctuary and necropolis.
*2500 BCE: Construction of Borġ in-Nadur temple; subsequently developed into a Bronze Age village.
*about 1000 BCE:
**The colonisation of the Maltese Islands by the Phoenicians begins.
**Earliest evidence of commerce and increased contacts with surrounding Mediterranean cultures.
*about 720 BCE: A Greek colony is founded on Malta.

=Punic / Roman period (700 BCE - 395)=

*700 BCE to 200 BCE: A Punic temple, dedicated to the mother goddess Astarte, is built over the remains of the Tas-Silġ megalithic temples.
*539 BCE: Cyrus the Great, founder of the Persian Empire, conquers Phoenicia.
*480 BCE: The islands come under the control of Carthage, a former Phoenician colony, and rapidly develop into a Carthaginian naval base.
*264 BCE-241 BCE: First Punic War.
*200 BCE to 300: A Roman temple, dedicated to the goddess Hera, is built over the remains of the Tas-Silġ megalithic temples.
*221 BCE to 202 BCE: Second Punic War.
*218 BCE:
**Invasion of Malta by Titus Sempronius Longus.
**Malta is incorporated into the Roman Republic, within the province of Sicily.
**Beginnings of the Maltese textile industry.
*150 BCE to 146 BCE: Third Punic War.
*41: The Maltese are granted municipal privileges by Rome.
*60: Saint Paul is shipwrecked on Malta.
*117 to 138: Malta becomes a municipium during the reign of Hadrian.

=Byzantine period (395 - 870)=

*395 to 454: Byzantine rule over Malta, following the final division of the Roman Empire.
*400 to 600: A Byzantine church is built over the remains of the Tas-Silġ megalithic temples.
*454: Malta is occupied by the Vandals.
*464: Malta is occupied by the Goths.
*533: Belisarius restores the Maltese Islands to the Byzantine Empire.

=Arab period (870 - 1127)=

**Malta is conquered by Aghlabid Arabs.
**The fortified Roman settlement of "Melita", on the highlands in the centre of Malta, is reduced in size, further fortified, and renamed "Medina", precursor to the Medieval city of Mdina.
**The Arabs construct a fort on the site of present-day Fort St Angelo.
**Improved agriculture and irrigation systems are introduced, including the 'noria' or waterwheel; cotton and citrus fruits are introduced to Malta.
*1048: The Byzantine Empire attempts to recapture the Islands.
*1091: Count Roger I of Sicily establishes Norman rule over Malta.
*1122: Arab uprising against the Normans in Malta.

=Norman rule (1127 - 1194)=

**Norman control over Malta is consolidated under Roger II of Sicily.
**A Norman governor is installed, and Norman soldiers are garrisoned in Malta's three main castles.
**Christianity re-established as the Islands' dominant religion.
*1144: Second attempt by the Byzantine Empire to recapture the Islands.
*1154: The Catholic Church in Malta is incorporated into the See of Palermo.

Kingdom of Sicily: County of Malta (1194 - 1427)

*1194-1266: Malta and Sicily are ruled by the Swabians (House of Hohenstaufen).
*1224: Expulsion of all remaining Arabs in Malta and Sicily. [Debattista, Martin; [http://www.aboutmalta.com/history/time-Line.htm Timeline of Malta History] ; retrieved on [2008-05-14] ]
*1266-1283: Malta and Sicily are ruled by the Angevins.
*1283-1530: Malta and Sicily are ruled by the Crown of Aragon.
*1350: Establishment of the Maltese nobility by Louis of Sicily.
*1350-1357: First Incorporation of the Maltese Islands into the Royal Domain (Kingdom of Sicily).
*1397-1420: Second Incorporation of the Maltese Islands into the Royal Domain (Kingdom of Sicily).
*1397: Establishment of the "Università", a form of local government, in Malta.
*1419: The Militia List is drawn up, giving information about the population of Malta in the Middle Ages.
**Uprising by the Maltese against Don Gonsalvo Monroy, Count of Malta.
**Following his expulsion from the Island, Monroy appears before the Court of Sicily demanding that the strongest possible measures be taken against the insurgents.
**Maltese representatives appear before the same Court, offering to "redeem" the Islands by repaying the 30,000 florins originally paid by Monroy for his fiefdom over Malta, and asking King Alfonso to incorporate the Islands into his Royal Domains
** Impressed by the loyalty of his Maltese subjects, the King declares Malta to be the most notable gem in his Crown. The old capital city of Mdina acquires the name "Città Notabile", as a result.

Kingdom of Aragon (1427 - 1530)

*January 3, 1427, King Alfonso incorporates Malta to the Crown of Aragon (Kingdom of Sicily), and promises never to grant Malta as a fief to any third party. This is the earliest recognition of the Maltese as a distinct people, not simply as serfs, but as subjects with some rights, including the right of direct petition to the Monarch, and the right to resist by force of arms ("manu forti") any unwarranted oppression.
*1429: The Hafsid Berbers attempt to capture Malta. [Henry Frendo, "History and Citizenship:Sinews of Europeanity in the Maltese Experience", at 8. [http://www.euroclio.eu/download/2006/Bulletins/Bulletin_24_Full/FULL_Prof_Henry_Frendo.doc] Last visited August 6, 2007.]
*1522: Suleiman II drives the Military Hospitaller Knights of St. John of Jerusalem out of Rhodes.

=The Knights of Malta (1530 - 1798)=

Early Years on Malta

*October 26, 1530: In an effort to protect Rome from Islamic invasion, Emperor Charles V grants the Maltese Islands to the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem in perpetual fief.
*1531: The Knights stage their first attacks from their new naval base in Malta, forming part of a Christian fleet under the command of Admiral Andrea Doria in attacks on the Turks at Modone, on the Ottoman fort at Coronna and, in 1535, on Tunis. [Simon Mercieca, "The Knights of St. John in Malta" (Florence: Casa Editrice Bonechi, 2006), at 25.]
*1533 to 1565: Fortification and development of Fort St Elmo, on the tip of the Sciberras Peninsula (now, Valletta).
*1535: First known celebration of Carnival in Malta.
*1540 to 1551: Increasingly frequent "razzias" on Malta and Italy by Ottomans and Barbary pirates. [Mercieca, at 26.]
*1547: Attempted invasion of Malta at Marsaxlokk, by Ottomans and Barbary pirates under the command of Turgut Reis.
*June to September, 1550: Andrea Doria and Claude de la Sengle, bailli of the French langue of the Knights, massacre the population of Mahdia, in Tunisia.

Ottoman retaliation

**In May, Ottomans and Barbary pirates under the command of Turgut Reis and Sinan Pasha commence a series of attacks on eastern Sicily and Malta, in revenge for the events in Mahdia.
** In July, Ottomans and Barbary pirates attempt to capture Malta, landing some 10,000 men at Marsa Muscietto.
**Birgu and Senglea are besieged.
**The Turkish invaders abandon the harbour area and sail north to St. Paul's Bay, and stage a short-lived siege on Mdina.
**"Razzia" on the Island of Gozo by the Turkish invaders; the Knights' local governor, Galatian de Sesse, surrenders the Citadel; almost all the inhabitants of Gozo (some 5,000 to 6,000 people) are enslaved, and transported to Tarhuna Wa Msalata in Libya from Mġarr ix-Xini.
**Turgut sails south to Tripoli, and conquers the Knights' fortress.
**The Knights' local governor, Gaspar de Vallier, negotiates a truce that ensures safe passage from Tunis to Malta for the Knights of the garrison, but excludes the Maltese, Calabrian and Rhodian soldiers, who are auctioned off into slavery by the Turks. [Mercieca, at 28-30.]
**Pope Julius III suggests that the Knights should abandon Malta, and retreat to Messina or Syracuse.
**Construction of Fort Saint Michael, in Senglea.
**"April": Fearing further "razzias" by Turks and Barbary corsairs, one thousand Maltese flee Malta, seeking refuge in Sicily. [Iacomo Bosio, "Dell’Istoria della Sacra Religione et Ill.ma Militia di San Giovanni Gerosolimitano", Parte Terza, 1602. p. 325.]
*1554: Ottoman raid on the village of Siġġiewi.
*1557: Jean Parisot de la Valette is elected Grand Master of the Knights of Malta.
*1560 to 1565: The Knights of Malta escalate their corsairing activities in the western Mediterranean.
*1561: The Holy Inquisition is established in Malta.

The Great Siege of Malta

*December 1564: The Ottoman war council in Constantinople decrees that Malta is to be invaded and conquered.
**"April 9": The Spanish Viceroy of Sicily, Don García de Toledo y Osorio, arrives in Malta and tours the Island's fortifications; he promises the Knights that in the coming invasion they need only hold out until June, when he would bring his armada back to assist Malta.
**"March 30": Ottoman fleet leaves Constantinople for Malta; Queen Elizabeth remarks: "If the Turks should prevail against the Isle of Malta, it is uncertain what further peril might follow to the rest of Christendom."
**"April 16" to "May 13": Evacuation to Sicily of "a great number of people," from Malta, including large numbers of Maltese nobility, in anticipation of the imminent invasion.
**"May 18": Ottoman armada sighted off the coast of Malta, signalling the start of the Great Siege of Malta. [Iacomo Bosio, "Dell’Istoria della Sacra Religione et Ill.ma Militia di San Giovanni Gerosolimitano", Parte Terza, 1602. pp. 502, 503, 511.]
**"May 19": A storm prevents the Turkish fleet from landing at Marsaxlokk; the vessels are sheltered in Ġnejna Bay and at Għajn Tuffieħa.
**"May 20": The Turkish fleet anchors at Marsaxlokk and sets up camp at Marsa.
**"June 23":
***Fort St. Elmo falls to the Turks.
***Turkish commanders order all the dead Knights found in St. Elmo to be beheaded; their mutilated bodies are floated across Grand Harbour on planks towards the bastions of Senglea and Birgu. [Themistocles Zammit, "Malta, the Islands and their History", at 135.]
**"June 29": Four galleys land in the north of Malta, bringing 600 soldiers, 42 knights, 56 gunners and numerous volunteers, to reinforce the Island's defences; they walk to Mdina by night, and then on to Birgu the following morning.
**"July 3 to July 12": The Turkish fleet is transported on rollers, overland, from Marsamxett Harbour to Grand Harbour, in preparation for an assault on Senglea.
**"July 8": The Turkish forces are reinforced with the arrival of 29 vessels and 2,500 warriors accompanied by the Bey of Algiers.
**"July 9": Reinforcements sent by Viceroy Don García de Toledo fail to make harbour, as a result of the fall of Fort St. Elmo, and return to Sicily.
**"July 12": Senglea is besieged.


*1566: The founding of Malta's new capital city, Valletta. A general strengthening of Malta's fortifications is undertaken.
*1616: William Lithgow reports that on a visit to Malta he "saw a Spanish soldier and a Maltese boy burnt in ashes, for the public profession of sodomy." The following day more than one hundred young men flee to Sicily for fear of suffering a similar fate. [ [http://www.infopt.demon.co.uk/homopho5.htm Rictor Norton, "The Medieval Basis of Modern Law," in "A History of Homophobia"] . Last visited August 11, 2007.]

Age of Reason

*January 9, 1732: The Manoel Theatre (then known as the "Teatro Pubblico") opens in Valletta with a performance of Scipione Maffei's classic tragedy "Merope".

=Napoleonic France (1798 - 1799)=

*1798: Napoleon uses a ploy to seize the Islands from the Knights.
**Slavery, the Holy Inquisition, and all titles of nobility are abolished in Malta.
**Tsar Paul I of Russia become "de facto" Grand Master of the Order, and orders the creation of a [http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/html_En/03/hm3_6_5c.html "Throne of Malta,"] in the Vorontsov Palace in St. Petersburg (now on display in the State Hermitage Museum).
**"October 29": First petition for the establishment of a separate Roman Catholic diocese on Gozo, led by Archpriest Saverio Cassar. [ [http://www.gozodiocese.org/info_diocesehistory.php Roman Catholic Diocese of Gozo, "The Diocese: A Historical Note".] Last visited August 11, 2007.]
*1799: Maltese uprising against the French following extensive pillaging of Maltese churches and cathedrals. Britain takes Malta under its protection, in the name of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. The Union Jack flies over Valletta for the first time, alongside the Neapolitan flag.

British Malta (1799 - 1964)

*1801: Tsar Paul I of Russia demands the return of Malta to the Knights.
*June 24, 1801: Admiral Sir Alexander Ball is sent to Malta as Plenipotentiary Minister of His British Majesty for the Order of Saint John, with orders to evacuate the British forces from the Islands, and to prepare for their return to the Knights of St. John.
**First Declaration of Rights issued in Malta: "Dichiarazione dei Diritti degli Abitanti di Malta e Gozo", including the right to freedom of conscience under the rule of law.
**Under the Peace of Amiens, Britain is ordered to return Malta to the Knights of St John, but facing imminent hostilities by Napoleonic France, Britain chooses not to comply.
*1813: Malta is granted the "Bathurst Constitution".
*1814: Under the Treaty of Paris, and subsequently ratified by the Congress of Vienna, Malta becomes a British Crown Colony.
*1814-1930: The Grand Harbour becomes an important shipping waystation, eventually serving as the headquarters for the Mediterranean Fleet.
*December 30, 1836: Second petition for a separate Roman Catholic diocese for Gozo is presented to Pope Gregory XVI. [ [http://www.gozodiocese.org/info_diocesehistory.php Roman Catholic Diocese of Gozo, "The Diocese: A Historical Note".] Last visited August 11, 2007.]
*1853-1856: The Crimean War; Malta serves as a hospital base for wounded combattants, and acquires the nickname "Nurse of the Mediterranean".
*June 9, 1855: Three Gozitan representatives personally petition Pope Pius IX for a separate Roman Catholic diocese for Gozo; the pontiff promises his support. [ [http://www.gozodiocese.org/info_diocesehistory.php Roman Catholic Diocese of Gozo, "The Diocese: A Historical Note".] Last visited August 11, 2007.]
*October 25, 1860: The Colonial Office in London approves the establishment of a separate Roman Catholic diocese for Gozo. [ [http://www.gozodiocese.org/info_diocesehistory.php Roman Catholic Diocese of Gozo, "The Diocese: A Historical Note".] Last visited August 11, 2007.]
*September 16, 1864: Pope Pius IX issues a papal bull entitled "Singulari Amore" (With remarkable love), separating the islands of Gozo and Comino from the diocese of Malta; seven days later, Michele Francesco Buttigieg is elected first Bishop of Gozo. [ [http://www.gozodiocese.org/info_diocesehistory.php Roman Catholic Diocese of Gozo, "The Diocese: A Historical Note".] Last visited August 11, 2007.]
*1869: Opening of the Suez Canal, greatly enhancing the importance of the Grand Harbour to British merchant marine and naval shipping.
*1870: J.S. Tucker proposes the construction of a railway from Valletta to Mdina.
*1878: Following a Royal Commission, 32 titles of Maltese nobility were granted recognition by Great Britain.
*1880: In education, "anglicization" of Maltese students becomes a matter of policy.
*February 28, 1883: The "Malta Railway" service is inaugurated, with service from Valletta to Floriana, Ħamrun, Msida, Birkirkara, Lija, San Antonio, Attard, Mosta (San Salvatore), and Mdina. [ [http://www.maltarailway.com/history/ms1883.pdf "Opening of the Malta Railway,"] "The Malta Standard", March 1, 1883. Last visited August 11, 2007.]
*1885: September 8 ("Otto Settembre") is recommended as a national holiday, commemorating the victory of the Knights and the Maltese over the Ottoman Empire in the Siege of Malta (1565).
*March 31, 1890: Malta Railway Company Ltd. is declared bankrupt. The "Malta Railway" is closed. [ [http://www.maltarailway.com/pdf/History%20of%20Malta%20Railway.pdf N. Azzopardi, "The Malta Railway: Chronological Sequence of Events."] Last visited August 11, 2007.]
*February 25, 1892: The "Malta Railway" reopens, under government management.
*1900: The "Malta Railway" line is extended to Mtarfa Barracks.
*February 23, 1905: An electric tramway service is introduced in Malta by McCartney, McElroy & Co. Ltd., connecting Valletta, the Three Cities, and Żebbuġ and Ħamrun.
*July 1908: Malta Tramways Limited assumes operations of the electric tramway service.
*1912: Dr. Enrico Mizzi, a staunch supporter of the "italianità" of Malta, proposes in a journal article that Britain could exchange Malta for Eritrea with Italy, on the understanding that Britain would be granted access to Maltese harbours and facilities. The article proposes an Italo-Maltese federation, with elected Maltese representatives in the Italian parliament. [Henry Frendo, "History and Citizenship:Sinews of Europeanity in the Maltese Experience", at 15. [http://www.euroclio.eu/download/2006/Bulletins/Bulletin_24_Full/FULL_Prof_Henry_Frendo.doc] Last visited August 6, 2007.]

World War I

*1914-1918: Throughout World War I, especially following the failed invasion of Gallipoli, many casualties are shipped to hospitals in Malta, resuming its role as the "Nurse of the Mediterranean".
*1917: Dr. Enrico Mizzi is court-martialled for sedition, and sentenced to one year imprisonment. His sentence is subsequently commuted, and a pardon is issued.
*June 7, 1919: Sette Giugno protests over increases in the price of bread. British soldiers fire on the crowd and kill four Maltese protesters, during a violent riot instigated by students. The protests lead to greater autonomy for the Maltese.

The language question

*December 15, 1929: The "Malta Tramway" service is terminated.
*1930: The "1921 Constitution" is suspended.
*March 31, 1930: The "Malta Railway" service is terminated. [ [http://www.maltarailway.com/pdf/History%20of%20Malta%20Railway.pdf N. Azzopardi, "The Malta Railway: Chronological Sequence of Events."] Last visited August 11, 2007.]
*1934: English and Maltese are declared the sole official languages of Malta, to the exclusion of Italian, which had been the primary language of government, commerce, education and culture in Malta for more than 800 years.
**Mussolini's Abyssinian War and intervention on the side of Franco in the Spanish Civil War ends any possibility of reconciliation between Italy and the United Kingdom.
**Mussolini announces his intention of annexing Malta with Italy, as part of the larger Mare Nostrum campaign for Italian dominance in the Mediterranean.
**Tension runs high in Malta, due to a perceived cultural divide between "pro-Italian" and "pro-Empire" political forces.

World War II

*1939-1945: Throughout World War II, Malta plays an important role due to the strategic location of the Grand Harbour at the crossroads of the Axis shipping lanes.
**"May 30": Dr. Enrico Mizzi, co-leader of the Partito Nazionalista, is arrested and imprisoned in Fort San Salvatore, to secure "the public safety and the Defence of the [Maltese Islands] ...in view of the hostile origin or association of Dr. Enrico Mizzi." [ [http://geocities.com/thierenswilliam/proceedingsofhistoryweek1986/enricomizzispoliticalintegrity.pdf Joseph M. Pirotta, "Enrico Mizzi's Political Integrity: Fact or Fiction?" in "Proceedings of History Week, 1986] . (Malta: The Malta Historical Society (1992), at 93-113. Last visited August 6, 2007.]
**"10 June": Italy declares war on France and the United Kingdom.
**"11 June": First air raids on Malta. Malta would go on to endure the heaviest, sustained bombing attack of the War: some 154 days and nights and 6,700 tons of bombs.
**"February to March 8": Governor Dobbie issues a warrant for the deportation, exile and internment in Uganda of 47 Maltese (including Dr. Enrico Mizzi) who were suspected of pro-Italian sentiments.
**"February 9": In the Council of Government, Nationalist Party member Sir Ugo Mifsud gives a spirited, juridical rebuttal of Britain’s policy of deporting "italo-phile" Maltese subjects; he collapses in the Chamber of Deputies, and dies two days later.
**"April": The Court of Appeal declares that the deportation to Uganda of "pro-Italian" Maltese subjects was illegal, null, and without effect. The deportees remain in Uganda nonetheless. ["Appeals Sentence Book", Vol. 1, 1942. Court Archives, Malta.]
**"April 7": The Royal Opera House, Valletta, is destroyed by Luftwaffe bombers.
**"April 9": A 200kg bomb pierces the dome of the Rotunda of Sta. Marija Assunta, Mosta, but skids across the floor without exploding; two other bombs bounce off the roof and fail to explode; 300 people were hearing Mass inside the church at the time.
**"April 15": The George Cross is awarded to Malta by King George VI, so as to "bear witness to the heroism and devotion of its people".
**"August 15": With the people of Malta near starvation after two years of virtually constant bombardment, Operation Pedestal brings the "Santa Marija Convoy" to Malta, saving the Islands from a planned surrender to the Axis powers.
**"June 6": The 21st Engineer Aviation Regiment of the USAAF arrives on Gozo to construct a landing strip at Xewkija in preparation for the Allied invasion of Italy; the airfield is constructed in 18 days.
**"July 9": (Operation Husky); 2,760 ships and major landing craft converge in a rendezvous near Malta in preparation for the Allied invasion of Sicily, under the command of U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was stationed in the Lascaris War Rooms, in Valletta.
**"September 8": On the national holiday that commemorates the lifting of the Siege of Malta (1565), Italy announces its unconditional surrender to the Allied forces, thus ending the second Siege of Malta (1940).
**"September 11": Admiral Andrew Browne Cunningham signals to the British Admiralty: "Be pleased to inform Their Lordships that the Italian battle fleet now lies at anchor under the guns of the fortress of Malta."
**"September 29": The Italian fleet’s surrender in Malta is signed by U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower and Italian Marshal Pietro Badoglio.
**"January 30 to February 3": Malta Conference (1945); President Franklin D. Roosevelt of the United States and Prime Minister Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom meet on Malta to plan the final campaign against the Germans with the Combined Chiefs of Staff, and to prepare for the Yalta Conference.
**"March 8": The Maltese exiles are repatriated from Uganda.

Post-War reconstruction

*1946: A National Assembly is created.
**Restoration of Self-Government.
**Malta receives £30 million to assist with post-War reconstruction.

=The integration question=

*December 1955: A Round Table Conference is held in London, on the future of Malta. [ [http://www.gbz.freeuk.com/malta.htm Text of the Government of Malta's Proposals regarding Integration] ]
*14 February, 1956: A referendum is held on the integration of Malta into the United Kingdom: 75% vote 'Yes'; however, the result is deemed to be questionable due to a boycott by 40% of the electorate in response to concerns raised by opposition parties and by the Roman Catholic Church. [Henry Frendo, "History and Citizenship:Sinews of Europeanity in the Maltese Experience", at 17. [http://www.euroclio.eu/download/2006/Bulletins/Bulletin_24_Full/FULL_Prof_Henry_Frendo.doc] Last visited August 6, 2007.]
* 1957: Closure of the British naval docks in Grand Harbour has a devastating effect on the Maltese economy, leading to high unemployment at a time when a quarter of the workforce was employed in defence related activities.
**Talks between Valletta and Whitehall regarding the integration proposal break down.
**The United Kingdom imposes direct colonial rule over Malta.
*1959: Malta is granted an "Interim Constitution", providing for the creation of an Executive Council.

=Towards independence (1961 - 1964)=

*1961: The "State of Malta" is created pursuant to the "Blood Constitution," which provides for a measure of self-government.
*1961-1973: Gozo is granted a local government system.

=Constitutional Monarchy (1964 - 1974)=

*September 21, 1964:
**Malta is granted independence from the United Kingdom as a Constitutional Monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II as its Head of State.
**The Duke of Edinburgh represents The Queen at the Independence celebrations, which were held just six months following the birth of Prince Edward.
*December 1, 1964: Malta joins the United Nations.
*1965: Malta joins the Council of Europe.
*1970: Malta becomes an Associate member of the European Community.
*1971: Capital punishment for murder abolished.
*1972: Malta enters into a Military Base Agreement with the United Kingdom and other NATO countries.
*1973: Malta decriminalises homosexuality.

=Republic of Malta (1974 - present)=

*December 13, 1974: Malta becomes a Republic, with the last Governor-General, Sir Anthony Mamo, serving as its first President. Malta remains a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.
*March 31, 1979: Termination of the Military Base Agreement. The Duke of Edinburgh oversees the departure of the last British forces from Malta.
*1981: In the national election, the Malta Labour Party remained in Government notwithstanding the fact that 51% of the electorate voted in favour of the Partit Nazzjonalista. In the wake of this result, the constitution is amended to provide a mechanism whereby the party with a majority of the popular vote would be awarded a sufficient number of additional seats to give it a legislative majority.
*1993: Local Councils are re-established in Malta.
*2000: Capital punishment abolished from military code of Malta.
*April 2003: A referendum regarding Malta joining the European Union results in 143,094 votes cast in favour and 123,628 against.
*1 May 2004 Malta becomes a member of the European Union.
*1 January 2008 Malta adopts the euro, which replaces the Maltese lira.


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