25 December 1643
Captain William Mynors on the East Indian Company vessel, the Royal Mary, sees and names the Island on Christmas Day.
Crew of the vessel Amethyst tires to explore the island, but are hampered by inland cliffs and dense jungle.
A party from British naval vessel HMS Egeria reach the summit of what is now Murray Hill, finding phosphate as predicted by Scottish naturalist, Dr John Murray, and in a nearly pure form.
6 June 1888
Great Britain annexes Christmas Island at the urging of John Murray.
George Clunies-Ross, owner of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands sends his brother Andrew and a small party of Cocos Malay workers to form a settlement at Flying Fish Cove to pre-empt any other claim to the island’s resources.
Britain offers rivals Murray and Clunies-Ross a joint phosphate lease for 99 years.
The rival claimants are induced to form the Christmas Island Phosphate Company.
200 Chinese labourers, eight European managers and five Sikh policemen arrive on the island to make up workforce, supplemented by a small number of Malays.
First major shipment of phosphate.
550 die from beri-beri, most of them Chinese.
CW Andrews of the British Museum conducts a comprehensive study of the island’s natural history, following on from his earlier study in 1989.
During World War I phosphate mining was reduced and a rail link from Settlement to South Point built.
The TSS Islander II, a tin screw steamer, was built and remained the islands transport and supply ship until 1960.
6 February 1942
A carley float carrying a body was rescued in Flying Fish Cove. The body was prepared and then buried in the European Cemetery. He was believed to have been from the HMAS Sydney and is now recognised as The Unknown Sailor.
Japanese attack the Norwegian phosphate ship “The Eidsvold” in Flying Fish Cove; 50 Asian and Australian families are evacuated to Perth.
March 1942 – 1945
900 Japanese troops invade and occupy Christmas Island, imprisoning remaining Europeans and hunting 1000 Malay and Chinese workers in the jungle. Islander sabotage and allied submarines lead to suspension of mining. In 1943, half the population is sent to prison camps in Indonesia when food runs low.
Australia and New Zealand buy the Christmas Island Phosphate company and Christmas Island is administered by the Colony of Singapore.
Population expands, with labour from Singapore, Malaya and Cocos and supervisors from Australia
The Australian Government paid 2.9 million pounds to Singapore for lost phosphate royalties.1 October 1958
Sovereignty is transferred by the United Kingdom to Australia and Christmas Island becomes an Australian Territory.
Union of Christmas Island Workers formed to improve living and working conditions on the Island.
First Government Conservator from the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service appointed after conflicts between mining and conservation.
The first National Park declared over Egeria Point area.
1986 and 1989
Christmas Island National Park extended to cover 63% of the Island.