French Polynesia - Country history and economic development



c. 300. Polynesians reach the Marquesas Islands.

1521. Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan sights Pukapuka in the Tuamotus.

1595. Spanish explorer Mendaña lands on the Marquesas Islands.

1767. British navigator Captain Samuel Wallis discovers Tahiti for Europe.

1768. French navigator Louis-Antoine de Bougainville visits Tahiti and claims it for France.

1797. Protestant missionaries arrive on Tahiti.

1842. French protectorate declared over Tahiti and the Marquesas.

1880. Protectorate becomes a colony.

1903. Islands organized into a single colony.

1945. French Polynesians become French citizens.

1958. French Polynesia becomes a French overseas territory.

1962. The French establish the nuclear test program Centre d'Expérimentations du Pacifique (CEP).

1966. French begin nuclear testing on Mururoa.

1975. Worldwide opposition forces French to move nuclear testing underground on Fangataufa.

1984. Partial local autonomy granted.

1995. French president Jacques Chirac resumes nuclear tests after their suspension by President François Mitterand in 1992.

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