Belize Public & Bank Holiday Dates

Belize Historical Dates

2,500 B.C. First important Maya centers established in Santa Rita and elsewhere.
300 – 900 Belize, was the heart of the Maya empire, with a population of 1 million.
1500s First Europeans (Spaniards) arrive in Belize.
1600s English buccaneers use Belize coast as a base to attack Spanish ships.
1798 September 10th. Bay men defeat the Spanish at the Battle of St. George’s Caye.
1823 Garifuna from Honduras settle in southern Belize.
1838 Slaves freed.
1848 Caste wars begin in Yucatan, driving Mexican Mestizos into northern Belize.
1862 Britain declares British Honduras a colony.
1931 September 10th. Worst hurricane in Belize’s history strikes. (Belize’s national day), killing 2,500.
1954 All literate Belizian adults get right to vote.
1958 As many as 5,000 mennonites from Canada & Mexico begin settling in Belize.
1961 October 30th. Hurricane Hattie nearly levels Belize City, killing 300.
1964 January 1st. Constitutional self-government begins. The PUP party dominate politics.
1973 Name officially changed to Belize. Capital moved from Belize City to Belmopan.
1981 September 21st. Belize becomes fully independent member of British Commonwealth.
1984 The United Democratic Party (UDP) come to power for the first time.
1985 Tourism development begins.
2000 October 3rd. Hurricane Keith slams Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker and the central coast.
2001 October 9th. Hurricane Iris hits southern Belize.
2010 October 25th. Hurricane Richard hits Belize. Belize zoo seriously damaged.