According to some, Saint Lucia was first inhabited sometime between 1000 and 500 BC by the Ciboney people, but there is not a lot of evidence of their presence on the island.
The first proven inhabitants were the peaceful Arawaks, believed to have come from northern South America around 200-400 AD, as there are numerous archaeological sites on the island where specimens of the Arawaks’ well-developed pottery have been found.
There is evidence to suggest that these first inhabitants called the island Iouanalao, which meant ‘Land of the Iguanas’, due to the island’s high number of iguanas.
The more aggressive Caribs arrived around 800 AD, and seized control from the Arawaks by killing their men and assimilating the women into their own society.
They called the island Hewanarau, and later Hewanorra. This is the origin of the name of the Hewanorra International Airport in Vieux Fort. The Caribs had a complex society, with hereditary kings and shamans. Their war canoes could hold more than 100 men and were fast enough to catch a sailing ship. They were later feared by the invading Europeans for their ferocity in battle.
1501 – St Lucia sighted by Christopher Columbus.
1635 – The French establish a colony on St Lucia.
1660 – The French sign a treaty with the indigenous Carib people.
1814 – France cedes St Lucia to Britain following the Treaty of Paris; Britain proclaims the island a crown colony and brings in African slaves to work on the sugar cane plantations.
1834 – Slavery abolished.
1871-1956 – St Lucia a member of the Leeward Islands Federation.
1924 – St Lucia granted representative government.
1936 – St Lucia given a constitution providing for a majority of elected representatives in the legislative council.
1951 – St Lucia granted universal adult suffrage.
1958-62 – St Lucia a member of the Federation of the West Indies.
1964 – St Lucia ceases sugar cane production.
1967 – St Lucia becomes fully self-governing in internal affairs, with Britain remaining in charge of external matters and defence.
1979 – St Lucia becomes independent with John Compton, leader of the United Workers Party (UWP) as prime minister.
1979 – Allan Louisy becomes prime minister after his St Lucia Labour Party (SLP) wins the general election.
1982 – John Compton returns to power after his UWP wins a decisive victory in the general election.1981 – Louisy resigns following a split in the SLP and is replaced by the attorney-general, Winston Cenac.
1987 – The UWP wins a narrow victory in the general election.
1992 – The UWP wins another general election.
1992 – Derek Walcott, a native of the capital, Castries, wins the Nobel Prize for literature.
1993 – Fall in the price of bananas leads to unrest and strikes by farmers and agricultural workers.
1996 – John Compton resigns and is succeeded by Vaughan Lewis as prime minister.
Kenny Anthony elected
1997 – Kenny Anthony becomes prime minister after his SLP-led coalition wins the country’s biggest ever landslide in the general election.
2002 September – Tropical Storm Lili destroys about half of the banana crop. In some places entire plantations are wiped out.
2003 July – Parliament amends constitution to replace oath of allegiance to British monarch with pledge of loyalty to St Lucians.
2003 November – New criminal code passed, with controversial clauses on imprisonment for spreading “false news” and legalisation of abortion in some circumstances.
2004 July – Volcanic twin peaks – the Pitons – are declared a Unesco world heritage site.
2006 December – Sir John Compton’s UWP wins general elections.
2007 April – St Lucia says it will re-establish diplomatic ties with Taiwan, 10 years after it broke off relations in favour of China.
2007 September – Prime minister Sir John Compton dies, is replaced by Stephenson King.
2011 December – Kenny Anthony becomes prime minister after his SLP wins a snap general election.