Notable Dates in Malta's History

Notable Dates in Maltese History

Before 5000 BC Arrival of man in Malta. First human settlers. Ghar Dalam phase.
Circa 4100 BC A new wave of immigration to Malta; introduction of pear-shaped ceramic artefacts.
Circa 4100 - 3800   BC Construction of the Xaghra Stone Circle on the Island of Gozo.
Circa 3600 BC Construction of the Ggantija megalithic temple complex on the Island of Gozo.
Circa 3600 - 3000 BC Construction of Ta' Hagrat, Kordin III, Skorba and Tas-Silg megalithic temples.
Circa 3600 - 2500 BC Construction of the Mnajdra, Hagar Qim and Tarxien temple complexes
Circa 3400 BC Introduction of copper.
Circa 2500 BC

Excavation of the Hypogeum of Hal-Saflieni, an underground sanctuary and necropolis

Construction of Borg in-Nadur temple; subsequently developed into a Bronze Age village.

Circa 2000 BC First invasion of bronze-using people.
Circa 1400 BC Second invasion of bronze-using people.
Circa 1000 BC Earliest evidence of commerce and increased contacts with surrounding Mediterranean cultures.
Circa 900-800 BC The Iron Age.
Circa 720 BC Greek influence in area on which Valletta now stands.
Circa 700 - 200 BC A Punic temple, dedicated to the mother goddess Astarte, is built over the remains of the Tas-Silg megalithic temples.
Circa 800-480 BC Phoenician colonization.
Circa 480-218 BC Carthaginian domination. Cyrus the Great, founder of the Persian Empire, had conquered Phoenicia in 539BC
264-241 BC First Punic War.
221-202 BC Second Punic War.
218 BC 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
200 - 300 BC A Roman temple, dedicated to the goddess Hera, is built over the remains of the Tas-Silġ megalithic temples.
150-146 BC Third Punic War.
41 AD The Maltese are granted municipal privileges.
60 AD Shipwreck of St Paul. Introduction of Christianity.
117-138 AD Islands made Municipalities during reign of Hadrian.
395 AD Final division of Roman Empire.
395-870 AD Byzantine domination. It is a moot point whether Malta was occupied by the Vandals in 454 and by the Goths in 464. According to some historians, Belisarius restored the Islands to the Byzantine Empire in 533.
400-600 AD A Western Roman church is built over the remains of the Tas-Silg megalithic temples.
454 AD Malta is occupied by the Vandals.
464 AD Malta is occupied by the Goths.
533 AD Belisarius restores the Maltese Islands to the Byzantine Empire
870 AD Malta is conquered by Aghlabid (Tunisian) 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
909 AD Fatimids (Tunisians and Egyptians) conquered Malta.
990 AD From a Census compiled in the year 990, it appears that out of Malta's 16,767 inhabitants 13,161 were declared to be Moslems with only 3,606 being Christian.

On the island of Gozo, however, it appears that out of a population of 4,544 there were 2,733 Christians and only 1,811 Moslems.  Islam appears to have replaced Christianity during the Arab Rule  but there aren’t any ancient Mosques or similar places of Muslim worship in Malta dating from this period. However when the Domus Romana was being excavated a vast Arab Cemetery was discovered above the ruins of the Roman House. 

1048 AD Byzantine bid to recapture the Islands.
1091 AD Norman invasion of Malta.
1122 AD Uprising of the Arabs.
1127 AD

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; namely Mdina, Castrum Maris, Cittadella Gozo
Christianity re-established as the Islands' dominant religion

1144 AD Byzantines again attempt to recapture the Islands.
1154 AD Bishops of Malta under the jurisdiction of the See of Palermo. John made Bishop of Palermo and Malta.
1154- 1205 AD Genoese influence
1194-1266 AD Swabians (Germans).
1224 AD Final expulsion of Arabs from Sicily and Malta.
1240 AD A Census carried out during the reign of Frederick II, held by the Abbot Gilbert of Catania, found a population of 1,119 families in the Maltese archipelago; 756 in Malta and 366 in Gozo.

Malta:
Christians 47
Saracens 681
Jews 25
-- population 753 families

Gozo:
Christians 203
Saracens 155
Jews 8
-- population 366 families

1266-1283 AD Angevins (French). Establishment of the Universita' (body of administration and not academic institution - Local Government).
1282 AD Sicilian Vespers (uprising against Angevin (French) rule).
1283-1530 AD Malta and Sicily are ruled by the Crown of Aragon (Spanish).
1350 AD

Establishment of Maltese nobility by King Ludwig of Sicily.

 

Grant in fief of lands 'Diar el Bniet' by Louis of Sicily (House of Aragon) to Francesco Gatto on the 4 January 1350, by a privilegium given at Messina, the fief having reverted to the Crown after it had been held by Michele Bava.

1350-1357 AD First Incorporation of the Maltese Islands into the Royal Domain (Kingdom of Sicily).
1356 AD Giacomo Pelegrino is noted as 'Capitano della Verga' ('Hakem').
1397-1420 AD Second Incorporation of the Maltese Islands into the Royal Domain (Kingdom of Sicily).
1397 AD Re-establishment of the Università (a form of Local Government).
1412-1530  AD Aragonese and Castilian rule.
1419 AD The Militia List is drawn up, giving information about the population of Malta in the Middle Ages.
1420 AD The 'Consiglio Popolare' is mentioned when King Alphonsus of Aragon mortgaged the islands to Antonio Cardona.
1425 AD Uprising by the Maltese against Don Gonsalvo Monroy during his absence from the island, Count of Malta.
 

His wife Donna Costanza is held hostage in the Castellamare (Fort St Angelo)
Monroy appears before the Court of Sicily demanding that the strongest possible measures be taken against the insurgents.
The Maltese insurgents repel an attempt by the Viceroy of Sicily to bring the island to order. 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
 

Monroy agrees to the terms but demands hostages to be held for as long as his wife is held in Malta. The impasse is resolved when Antonio Inguanez offers his two sons as hostages.
 

Negotiations drag on for several months during which only 10,000 florins are collected and the negotiated time elapses. However Monroy dies retaining for his heirs only a third of the sum collected and ordering that another third be returned to the Maltese. The last third he left to the King to be spent on strengthening the fortifications of Malta.
 

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.
 

The Maltese do not submit to Aragonese rule until the Magna Charta Libertatis granting them their new rights is delivered to them.

1427 AD 3 January 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.
1429 AD The Hafsid Berbers (Saracens from Tunis) try to capture Malta unsuccessfully.
1428-1530 AD Third (and final) Incorporation of Islands in Royal Domain.
1436 AD In the 'Rollo' (inventory) of the benefices of the churches and chapels in Malta and Gozo, held by Bishop de Mello, ten established chapels are mentioned: The Cathedral of Mdina and the Church of San Lorenzo a Mare (Birgu), the 'Nativity of the Virgin' (Naxxar), 'Saint Helen' (Birkirkara), 'Saint George' (Qormi), 'Assumption of the Virgin (Bir Miftuh), Saint Philip of Aggira (Zebbug), 'Saint Nicholas of Bari' (Siggiewi), 'Saint Catherine of Alexandria' (Zejtun and Zurrieq), Saint Domenica' (Dingli), and 'the Nativity of the Virgin' (Mellieha).
1485 AD Death of Peter Caxaro, author of Cantilena, possibly earliest evidence of written Maltese.
1530 AD 26 October 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.

The first Census under the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem showed a population of circa 15,000 people in Malta and 4,659 in Gozo.

1531 AD 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.
1533-1565 AD Fortification and development of Fort St Elmo, on the tip of the Sciberras Peninsula (now, Valletta).
1535 AD First known date of celebration of Carnival in Malta.
1540-1551 AD Increasingly frequent razzias on Malta and Italy by Ottomans and Barbary pirates.
1547 AD Attempted invasion of Malta at Marsaxlokk, by Ottomans and Barbary pirates under the command of Dragut.
1550 AD June to September, 1550: Andrea Doria and Claude de la Sengle, baillif of the French langue of the Knights, massacre the population of Mahdia, in Tunisia.
1551 AD

In May, Ottomans and Barbary pirates under the command of Dragut 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 Mgarr ix-Xini.

 

Dragut 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.
 

Pope Julius III suggests that the Knights should abandon Malta, and retreat to Messina or Syracuse.

1552 AD 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.
1557 AD Jean Parisot de la Valette is elected Grand Master of the Knights of Malta.
1560-1565 AD The Knights of Malta escalate their corsairing activities in the western Mediterranean.
1561 AD Holy Inquisition officially established in Malta. Domenico Cubelles is the first Inquisitor.
1565 AD Great Siege of Malta. 

 

30 March: 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."

 

9 April: The Spanish Viceroy of Sicily, Don García de Toledo y Osorio, a 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.
 

16 April to 13 May: Evacuation to Sicily of "a great number of people," from Malta, including large numbers of Maltese nobility, in anticipation of the imminent invasion.
 

18 May: Ottoman armada sighted off the coast of Malta, signalling the start of the Great Siege of Malta.
 

19 May: A storm prevents the Turkish fleet from landing at Marsaxlokk; the vessels are sheltered in Gnejna Bay and at Ghajn Tuffieha.
 

20 May: The Turkish fleet anchors at Marsaxlokk, moved to Zejtun and sets up camp at Marsa.
 

23 June: 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.
 

29 June: 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.
 

3 July to 12 July: The Turkish fleet is transported on rollers, overland, from Marsamxett Harbour to Grand Harbour, in preparation for an assault on Senglea.
 

8 July: The Turkish forces are reinforced with the arrival of 29 vessels and 2,500 warriors accompanied by the Bey of Algiers.
 

9 July: 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.
 

12 July: Senglea is besieged.
 

7 September: Don Garcia's reinforcements, known as the Grande Soccorso ("great relief"), finally arrive,
 

11 September: Turkish forces retreat from Malta.

1566 AD The founding of Malta's new capital city, Valletta. A general strengthening of Malta's fortifications is undertaken.
1568 AD Jean Parisot  La Valette buried in Valletta.
1571 AD Battle of Lepanto. Christian victory over Ottoman Empire.
1578 AD Inauguration of St John’s Co-Cathedral. Foundation stone was laid in 1573
1590 AD Population stands at 32,290 persons 
1593 AD Inauguration of Jesuits College (Collegium MelitenseSocietatis Jesu) which later becomes the Academic University of Malta.  
1615 AD Wignacourt Aqueduct completed.  Supply of  fresh water to Valletta.
1617 AD Population stands at 43,798 persons 
1632 AD Population stands at 51,750 persons 
1676 AD Foundation of School of Anatomy and Surgery at the Sacra Infermeria.
1710 AD First grant in favour of locals (including a woman) of a title of nobility to have been created by the Grand Masters. On 24 December 1710, Grand Master Perellos granted the title of Baron of Gomerino jointly to Paolo and Beatrice Testaferrata.
1732 AD Manoel Theater dedicated.
1741 AD Population is estimated at 111,000 persons
1760 AD  After the death of the Baron Paolo Testaferrata, the office of 'Depositario' within the Inquisition was continued by his widow Vincenza Matilde. With the exception of a short period, she remained in office until 1778.
1768 AD Jesuits expelled from Malta and their property transferred to the Knights by Papal Order.
1769 AD Jesuits College turned into a University by Grandmaster Pinto.
1775 AD Uprising of the Priests brutally repressed by Grandmaster Ximenes.
1784 AD Promulgation of the Diritto Municipale by Grand Master De Rohan.
1797 AD

By a Papal brief dated 3 March 1797, Bishop Vincenzo Labini and all his successors in the diocese of Malta, were given the title of 'Bishop of Malta and Archbishop of Rhodes'. This privilege was suppressed in 1928, and the title was changed to 'Archbishop, Bishop of Malta'

 

In 1797 the status animarum for the diocese of Malta and Gozo estimated the population to number 96,534 individuals, excluding the Order and its followers, with 3,629 recorded baptisms.

1798 AD

The French, under Napoleon, occupy Malta on his way to Egypt on 9th June. Mdina (Notbile) capitulates on the 10 June. The act of capitulation of Mdina is signed on the one part by Vincenzo Barbara representing the French Republic and the Hakem together with the jurats representing the people.
 

The Order capitulates. The Act of capitulation of Malta is signed on the 12 June by on the one part by Napoleon on behalf of the French Republic, on the other six signed on behalf of the Order, the people of Malta and the King of Spain.
 

Slavery, the Roman 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 "Throne of Malta," in the Vorontsov Palace in St. Petersburg (now on display in the State Hermitage Museum).
 

The Commission of Government is appointed on 12 June 1798. General Claude Henri Belgrand de Vaubois is appointed Military Governor. The islands are divided into 12 municipalities.
 

29 October: First petition for the establishment of a separate Roman Catholic diocese on Gozo, led by Archpriest Saverio Cassar.

 

 Uprising of the Maltese against the French on 2nd  September. During 1798 the population was estimated at 114,000 total inhabitants.

1799 AD Dun Mikiel Xerri and other Maltese executed by the French after a failed plot to storm the Valletta walls. Britain takes Malta under its protection in the name of the King of the Two Sicilies.
1800 AD In September the French capitulate, Major General H. Pigot instructed to place Malta under the protection of the British Crown.
1801 AD Tsar Paul I of Russia demands the return of Malta to the Knights

24 June 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.

1802 AD

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. The Napoleonic Wars resume because of Malta.

1803 AD Ball was appointed Civil Commissioner in May 1803 and immediately instructed the removal of Neapolitan forces from the Island.
1807 AD

In 1807, the population numbered only 93,054, a drop of 18.4%over the previous decade. This population drop was not due to direct war casualties, but due to famine and disease mitigated by a proportion of the population emigrating abroad with the departure of the Knights. A similar drop was registered in Gozo in spite of the fact that the strife in the sister island lasted only until October 1798. The population in Gozo in 1798 has been estimated at 16,000 inhabitants. This figure fell by 19.8%over the subsequent decade so that the population in 1807 was estimated at 12,829. It as been estimated that during the strife, out of a population of 100,000 people, some2,000 perished through sickness and hunger, while direct war casualties amounted to just more than 300 men killed and wounded, some being killed prior to the uprising.

1809 AD Ball dies in October and is succeeded by the military commander, Major-General Hildebrand-Oakes.
1813 AD

Hildebrand-Oakes is replaced by Sir Thomas Maitland, the first to be described by the British as ‘Governor’

 

The Bathurst Constitution. First issue of Gazzetta del Governo di Malta - changed, in 1816, to Malta Government Gazette.

1814 AD Treaty of Paris, subsequently ratified by the Congress of Vienna, by which Malta becomes a British Crown Colony.
1819 AD Abolition of Universita' (Local Government).
1823 AD Population is estimated at 112,204 persons
1828 AD Proclamation regulating State-Church relations. Right of Sanctuary revoked.
1831 AD 20 June 1831: See of Malta independent of See of Palermo.
1834AD Opening of Malta Government Savings Bank.
1835 AD First Council of Government consisting of seven members apart from the Lieutenant Governor, or head of Government - would now include 4 officers, 2 Maltese citizens and 1 Englishman.
1836 AD 30 December 1836: Second petition for a separate Roman Catholic diocese for Gozo is presented to Pope Gregory XVI
1839 AD Abolition of Press censorship and introduction of law of libel. Laying of cornerstone for St. Paul's Anglican Cathedral.
1842 AD Population stands at 114,499 persons.  
1846 AD Carnival riots.
1849 AD Council of Government with elected members. This council included 13 Maltese citizens; 8 elected and 5 appointed military officers.
1851 AD Population stands at 123,496 persons. 
1853-1856 AD The Crimean War; Malta serves as a hospital base for wounded combatants, and acquires the nickname Nurse of the Mediterranean.
1854 AD Publication of "Storia di Malta"  by Gio. Antonio Vassallo.
1855 AD 9 June 1855: Three Gozitan representatives personally petition Pope Pius IX for a separate Roman Catholic diocese for Gozo; the pontiff promises his support
1860 AD 25 October 1860: The Colonial Office in London approves the establishment of a separate Roman Catholic diocese for Gozo.
1861 AD Population stands at 134,055 persons. 
1864 AD 16 September 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.
1869 AD Opening of Suez Canal greatly enhancing the importance of the Grand Harbour to British merchant marine and naval shipping.
1870 AD Referendum on Ecclesiastics serving on Council of Government.
1871 AD Population stands at 141,775  persons. 
1878 AD 21 titles of nobility were successfully claimed by various individuals before a Royal Commission
1881 AD Executive Council - an entirely official body. Anglo-Egyptian Bank founded in Malta.  Population stands at 149, 782 persons. 
1883 AD 28 February 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.
1885 AD

8 September (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).

 

The first regular passenger service between Gozo and Malta was inaugurated on June 13, 1885

1886 AD Surgeon Major David Bruce discovers microbe causing Malta Fever.
1887 AD The Strickland-Mizzi Constitution. The Council of Government included the Governor plus 20 other members, which included Maltese representation from the clergy, the military and the civilian population.
1888 AD Construction begins on Royal Opera House. Simmons-Rampolla agreement (Vatican-British)
1890 AD 31 March 1890: Malta Railway Company Ltd. is declared bankrupt. The Malta Railway is closed.
1891 AD Population stands at 165,037 persons. 
1892 AD 25 February 1892: The Malta Railway reopens, under government management.
1900 AD The Malta Railway line is extended to Mtarfa Barracks.
1901 AD Population stands at  184,742 persons. 
1903 AD Council of Government - largely a return to the 1849 Constitution.
1904 AD 23 February 1905: An electric tramway service is introduced in Malta by McCartney, McElroy & Co. Ltd., connecting Valletta, the Three Cities, and Zebbug and Hamrun.
1905 AD

Dr. Themistocles Zammit discovers source of Malta Fever.

 

A certain Mr Spiller was granted the permission to import buses from UK to run between Valletta and St. Andrew

1908 AD July 1908: Malta Tramways Limited assumes operations of the electric tramway service
1911 AD Population stands at 211, 564  persons. 
1912 AD Dun Karm, the National Poet, writes his first poem in Maltese.

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.

1914-1918 AD World War I. Malta is not directly involved in the fighting but becomes known as the "Nurse of the Mediterranean". The war period showed little change in the population of the Maltese Islands with a slight rise from 211,564 in the pre-war 1911 census to 212,258 in the 1921 census.
1917 AD Dr. Enrico Mizzi is court-martialled for sedition, and sentenced to one year imprisonment. His sentence is subsequently commuted, and a pardon is issued.
1919 AD

7 June 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.

 

Assembly convened. 

 

The protests lead to greater autonomy for the Maltese.National

1921 AD The Amery-Milner Constitution granting Self-Government. Opening of first Malta Parliament. Joseph Howard named first Prime Minister. The Malta Union of Teachers (MUT) is the first Maltese trade union. Population stands at 212,258 persons. 
1923 AD The Maltese National Anthem,  "Innu Malti" played first time in public. Dr. Francesco Buhagiar becomes Prime Minister.
1924 AD Sir Ugo P. Mifsud becomes Prime minister.
1927 AD Sir Gerald Strickland becomes Prime Minister. The Malta Labour Party comes to power for the first time together with Strickland's party.
1929 AD 15 December 1929: The Malta Tramway service is terminated
1930 AD 1921 Constitution suspended because of a political-religious dispute between Strickland and the Church.
1931 AD 31 March 1931: Malta railway closes.  Population stands at 241,621 persons. 
1932 AD Constitution restored under British rule. Sir Ugo Mifsud becomes Prime  Minister.
1933 AD Constitution withdrawn as Fascist Italy increases its influence on Malta. Malta reverts to the Crown Colony status it held in 1813.
1934 AD

Maltese and English become dual official languages to the exclusion of Italian which had been the primary language of government, commerce, education and culture in Malta for more than 800 years


The first official grammar for the Maltese Language published.

1935 AD Rediffusion Cable Radio launched, with the aim of countering Fascist propaganda from Italy.
1936 AD Constitution revised to provide for nomination of members to Executive Council under British rule.
1939 AD Macdonald Constitution: Council of Government to be elected. Lord Strickland’s Constitutional Party returned.  Germany invades Poland and WWII starts
1939-1945 AD World War II.
1940 AD

30 May: 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."

 

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.

1941 AD Daring Italian e-boat attack on Grand Harbour fails. British aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious damaged, bombed, repaired and departs. The Germans join the Italians in bombing Malta.
1942 AD

February to 8 March: 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.


9 February: 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.


7 April: The Royal Opera House, Valletta, is destroyed by Luftwaffe bombers.
 

9 April: A 200 kg 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.


15 April: The George Cross is awarded to Malta by King George VI, so as to "bear witness to the heroism and devotion of its people".


15 August: 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.

1943 AD

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and King George VI visit Malta. 

 

6 June: 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.


9 July: (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.


8 September: 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).


11 September: 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."


29 September: The Italian fleet's surrender in Malta is signed by U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower and Italian Marshal Pietro Badoglio.
 

5 October 1943: The General Workers Union, Malta's largest trade union, set-up.

1944 AD The diocese of Malta is elevated to a Metropolitan See by Pope Piu XII.
1945 AD

30 January to 3 February: Malta Conference (1945); President Franklin D. Roosevelt of the United States and Prime Minister Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom meet in Malta to plan the final campaign against the Germans with the Combined Chiefs of Staff, and to prepare for the Yalta Conference with Stalin
 

8 March: The Maltese exiles are repatriated from Uganda.

1946 AD National Assembly resulting in 1947 Constitution under British rule.
1947 AD Restoration of Self-Government under British rule. Dr. Paul Boffa becomes Prime Minister with a landslide victory for the Malta Labour Party.

Malta receives £30 million to assist with post-War reconstruction.

1948 AD Population stands at  305,991 persons. 
1949 AD Dom Mintoff  brings a split in the MLP.
1950 AD Dr. Enrico Mizzi becomes Prime Minister from September to December when he dies. Dr. Giorgio Borg Olivier becomes Prime minister in December. Population of the Maltese Islands stands at 312,000
1955 AD Dom Mintoff becomes Prime Minister. 

December 1955: A Round Table Conference is held in London to discuss Malta's future with Britain

1956 AD 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 Catholic Church.
1957 AD 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

Population stands at 319,620  persons. 

1958 AD Talks between Valletta and Whitehall regarding the integration proposal break down.

Dom Mintoff resigns as Prime Minister and a national strike called by the General Workers Union on 18th April ends in clashes between workers, police and British soldiers. Dr. Giorgio Borg Olivier declines forming alternative government.

Colonial Governor takes direct administration of the Islands under British rule.

1959 AD Interim Constitution providing for Executive Council under British Rule.
1961 AD Blood Constitution published by Order-in-Council. This again provided for a measure of self-government for the now recognized “State” of Malta.

A political-religious struggle erupts between the Church led by Archbishop Gonzi and Mintoff's MLP.

1961-1973: Establishment of the Gozo Local Government system.

1962 AD Dr. Giorgio Borg Olivier becomes Prime Minister.
1964 AD "Innu Malti" recognized as the national anthem.

2-4 May 1964: Referendum on Independence Constitution.

21 September 1964: Malta is granted independence from the United Kingdom as a Constitutional Monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II as its Head of State, becoming a sovereign nation within the British Commonwealth.
The Duke of Edinburgh represents The Queen at the Independence celebrations, which were held just six months following the birth of Prince Edward.

1 December 1964: Malta joins the United Nations.

1965 AD Malta joins the Council of Europe.
1967 AD Population stands at 314,216  persons. 
1968 AD Establishment of the Central Bank of Malta. Establishment of the Malta Development Corporation.
1970 AD Malta becomes an Associate Member of the European Community.
1971 AD Dom Mintoff becomes Prime Minister after Malta Labour Party wins general election in June. Sir Anthony Mamo becomes the first Maltese national to be named Governor General. He is the last one for the Maltese Islands.

Capital punishment for murder abolished.

1972 AD Military Base Agreement with Britain and other N.A.T.O. countries. The King's Own Malta Regiment disbanded. Change to decimal monetary system on 16th May.
Government bars the U.S. Naval Forces from using Malta as a liberty port.
1973 AD Abolition of Gozo Local Government system.

21st March 1973: Air Malta was set up by a Resolution of Malta's House of Representatives. Air Malta was registered as a limited liability company on 30th March 

Malta decriminalises homosexuality.

1974 AD Malta becomes a Republic in the British Commonwealth; Sir Anthony Mamo, elected first President.  Government increases its control over the University.
1975 AD Barclays Bank International Ltd. taken over to become Mid-Med Bank.
1976 AD Dr. Anton Buttigieg becomes second President. 
Mintoff confirmed as Prime Minister. Establishment of the Regional Oil Combating Centre (ROCC) on Manoel Island as a joint IMO/UNEP project; now known as the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC).
1977 AD Dr. Eddie Fenech Adami elected leader of the Nationalist Party.
1979 AD Termination of Military Base Agreement. British forces leave. First Freedom Day celebrated on the 31st of March.
1981 AD The Malta Labour Party wins the general election by a majority of seats in Parliament, but the Opposition Nationalist Party acquires the absolute majority of votes. The Nationalist Party begins a protest campaign against the perverse election result.
1982 AD Agatha Barbara becomes third, and first female, President of Malta.
1984 AD Dr. Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici becomes Prime Minister after the resignation of Prime Minister Dom Mintoff. Stand-off between the government and teachers in a seven-week strike following government's attempt to make private schooling free of charge.
1985 AD Population stands at 345,418  persons. 
1987 AD Dr. Eddie Fenech Adami becomes Prime Minister following a Nationalist victory in the May general election. Parliament adopts the European Convention of Human Rights as part of Malta’s laws.
1988 AD United Nations opens the International Institute on Aging in Valletta. IMO - International Maritime Law Institute inaugurated at the University of Malta. 
1989 AD First gathering of Knights of St. John in Malta since their departure in 1798. U.S.-Soviet Summit meets in Malta to end the Cold War. Dr. Vincent Tabone elected fourth President. Establishment of the Malta International Business Authority (now the Malta Financial Services Centre), the Malta Export Trade Corporation and the Malta Freeport Corporation.
1990 AD Malta applies for full membership of the European Community. Pope John Paul II makes the first Papal visit in Malta. Prof. Guido De Marco elected President of 45th Annual UN General Assembly.
1991 AD Establishment of the Malta Maritime Authority. Melita Cable Television given license as the first cable tv operator in Malta.
Two Vatican Agreements between the Malta Government and the Holy See signed in Rome. New Delimara Power Station begins operations.
1992 AD New Malta International Airport terminal inaugurated.
Nationalist Party wins election. Dr. Alfred Sant elected Leader of the Malta Labour Party as Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici steps down following his party's defeat. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in Malta for the 50th Anniversary of the awarding of the George Cross. 50th Anniversary of Operation Pedestal, popularly known as the 'Santa Marija Convoy'  celebrated. Stock Exchange opened. Maritime Museum opened in Vittoriosa.
1993 AD Reintroduction of Local Government in the Maltese Islands. First elections for Local Councils held. The European Union's first report on Malta says it is eligible for EU membership.First University degree courses offered in Gozo. Government signs the International Convention banning the use of chemical weapons. The Fifth Games of the Small States of Europe held in Malta. 
1994 AD Dr. Ugo Mifsud Bonnici elected fifth President.
1995 AD The European Union decides that membership negotiations with Malta will start six months after its 1996 Inter-Governmental Conference. Population stands at  378,132 persons. 
1996 AD Malta Labour Party wins the elections held in October. Dr. Alfred Sant sworn in as Prime Minister of Malta. Malta's application for full membership of the European Community temporarily frozen.
1997 AD Euro Med Conference held in Malta.
1998 AD Dr. Alfred Sant calls for a snap election following a vote of no-confidence. Dr. Eddie Fenech Adami is  elected Prime Minister after the Nationalist Party wins the election. Malta's application for full membership of the European Community reactivated.
1999 AD Prof. Guido de Marco appointed President of Malta. The European Union at the Helsinki Summit rules that Malta could begin full negotiations for full membership in February 2000.
2000 AD Negotiations for European Union membership formally opened with Malta under the Portuguese Presidency on 15th February 2000.  Population of the Maltese Islands stands at 382,525 persons.
2002 AD Negotiations for European Union membership formally concluded with Malta under the Danish Presidency on 13th December 2002 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
2003 AD Referendum held on the 8th of March on the question of whether Malta should become a member of the European Union in the subsequent enlargement of 1st May 2004.  143,094 votes cast in favour and 123,628 against
2003 AD Dr. Eddie Fenech Adami confirmed as Prime Minister.  The Treaty of Accession to the European Union signed by the Prime Minister Dr. Eddie Fenech Adami and the Foreign Minister Dr. Joe Borg on the 16th of April 2003.
2004 AD Dr Lawrence Gonzi becomes Prime Minister after Dr Fenech Adami steps down on reaching the age of 70.  Dr Edward Fenech Adami becomes President. Malta became a member of the European Union as from 1st May 2004. Population of the Maltese Islands stands at 402,668
2005 AD Population stands at  404,962 persons. 
2007 AD Population stands at  410,290 persons. 
2008 AD Malta joins the Eurozone as from 1st  January 2008.  Dr Lawrence Gonzi confirmed Prime Minister. 
2009 AD Dr George Abela becomes President.
2010 AD Population stands at 417,617 persons.

2011 AD

Malta serves as an Emergency Hub during the eight-month Libya crisis that started in February 2011.

Referendum held on the 28th of May on the question of whether Malta should legislate in favour of divorce. 122,547 votes cast in favour and 107,971 against.  Divorce Law was passed in Parliament on 25 July 2011 coming into effect on 1 October 2011.

 

In 2005 the population stood at 404,962. In the census held in November 2011, the population grew by 2.7 per cent to 416,055, indicating a slowdown in population growth with an average annual increase of 1,849 compared to nearly 2,700 evidenced in the previous decennium.

2012 AD In 2012, Malta registered a 9.1 per cent increase in its population, which on 31 December 2012 amounted to 421,400, the second highest population increase among EU member states of which, no less than 7.4 per cent increase was due to migration.
On 31 December 2012, the population of the EU28 was estimated at 505.7 million, compared with 504.6 million on 1 January 2012.
The Maltese population amounted to 417,500 on 1 January 2012. Live births were 4,100, and deaths 3,400, thus the natural change was 700. To that, one must add 3,100 net inflows from migration, bringing the total Maltese population on 1 January 2013 to 421,400. Net migration does not mean only people coming in on boats but also people arriving in Malta with a valid visa, returning migrants and the like.
2013 AD Dr. Joseph Muscat is  elected Prime Minister after the Labour Party wins the election.
2014 AD Dr Marie Louise Coleiro Preca becomes President.

click on picture to view a list of the Rulers of Malta

Population Counts in Malta

990 - 2011

 

Estimates

Census

Year

Population

Year

Population

991

17,000

990

16,767

1530

15,000

1842

114,499

1569

10,000

1851

123,496

1582

20,000

1861

134,055

1590

32,290

1871

141,775

1617

43,798

1881

149,782

1632

51,750

1891

165,037

1741

111,000

1901

184,742

1797

96,534

1911

211,564

1798

114,000

1921

212,258

1807

93,054

1931

241,621

1823

112,204

1948

305,991

1826

119,000

1957

319,620

1842

114,499

1967

314,216

1950

312,000

1985

345,418

2000

382,525

1995

378,132

2004

402,668

2005

404,962

2007

410,290

2011

416,055

2010

417,617

 

 

2012 421,400    

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