Tuvalu - Country history and economic development

0-100 A.D. Polynesians colonize Tuvalu; Samoans settle in the southern atolls, while Tongans settle in the north; Micronesians from Kiribati conquer Nui.

1861. Elekana, a Cook Islander castaway, brings Christianity to Tuvalu.

1863. Slave traders take 450 Tuvaluans as slaves to work in the guano mines of Peru.

1865. Elekana returns to islands with a Congregation-alist missionary, A. W. Murray.

1877. Tuvalu comes under British control.

1880s. European traders establish a post on Tuvalu in order to acquire copra.

1892. In an effort to forestall American expansion in the area, Great Britain declares a protectorate over the northern islands.

1916. Tuvalu becomes a formal British colony.

1942-45. The United States lands military troops in the region during World War II and builds the nation's current airfield at Funafuti.

1974. The United Kingdom grants Tuvalu self-governing status; Tuvaluans vote for independence.

1976. Tuvalu is formally separated from the Gilbert Islands.

1978. Tuvalu becomes an independent nation and a special member of the Commonwealth of Nations (a voluntary association of nations giving symbolic or actual allegiance to the British crown).

1997. Three cyclones devastate the islands.

1998. Tuvalu signs a 10-year deal worth at least US$50 million to license the nation's Internet domain name, ".tv."

2000. Tuvalu becomes a member of the United Nations and a full member of the Commonwealth of Nations.

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