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Historical Facts
2007
Smoking is banned by law in all restaurants, bars and nightclubs in Iceland.

2006
Iceland's population reaches 300,000.

2004
The National Museum is reopened after extensive renovations that took over six years.

2002
Kárahnjúkar dam project begun. Kárahnjúkar power station is to supply power to a new aluminium smelter at Reyðafjörður, East Iceland.

2001
Olympic boxing is legalized again in Iceland after 45 years of prohibition.

2000
Two earthquakes, 6.5 and 6.6 Richter scale, shake the south, damaging houses and infrastructure but leaving people unharmed.

1998
The famous movie star, the whale Keiko, is transported back from USA to its origin around the Westman Islands.

1995
Iceland hosts the World Cup in handball.

1994
Icelanders celebrate 50 years of independence with a great festival at Þingvellir.

1992
Reykjavík's inhabitants reach 100,000. The City Hall is inaugurated.

1992
"Börn Náttúrunnar", a motion picture by Friðrik Þór Friðriksson, is nominated for an Oscar Academy Award as the best foreign film.

1989
Icelanders are allowed to buy and consume beer after 74 years of prohibition.

1989
Pope John Paul II becomes the first pope to visit Iceland.

1986
U.S. President Ronald Regan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbatsjev meet at Höfði House in Reykjavík for nagotiations on bringing the Cold War to an end.

1980
Vigdís Finnbogadóttir is the first woman in the world to be elected head of state in democratic elections.

1980
Tourists are allowed to buy 12 bottles of beer per person toll free when arriving in Iceland.

1976
The last "Cod War" between Iceland and Britain takes place. Iceland wins sovereignty over its fishing grounds.

1975
Iceland's territorial waters are expanded to cover 200 miles.

1974
The construction of roads and bridges over Skeiðarársandur in the southeast is completed and the Ring Road, national route no. 1 around the island, thus completed.

1974
The first Icelandic female priest is nominated.

1973
Volcanic eruption begins on Heimaey in the Westman Islands, leaving the island uninhabitable for a few months.

1972
Chess players Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky take on in "the dual of the century" in Reykjavik, for the world championship.

1971
The first Icelandic manuscripts are brought back to Iceland from Denmark.

1968
Icelanders change from driving on the left side of the road to driving on the right side.

1966
The first Icelandic television broadcast takes place.

1963
A great volcanic eruption below sea level, close to the Westman Islands, forms a new island named Surtsey.

1955
Writer Halldór Kiljan Laxness wins the Nobel Prize for Literature.

1949
Iceland becomes a member of NATO.

1949
A helicopter is flown for the first time in Iceland.

1949
Iceland's first traffic lights are set up in Reykjavik.

1947
Telecommunication between Iceland and the USA becomes a reality.

1946
The first Icelandic motion picture in full colours is premiered.

1946
Iceland becomes a member of the United Nations.

1944
Iceland breaks off the alliance with the Danish crown and becomes an independent republic again.

1944
Sveinn Björnsson is elected Iceland's first president.

1941
The American Navy takes over the role of the British Military in Iceland's occupation.

1940
World War II: British forces occupy Iceland.

1935
Production and trade of all alcoholic beverages except beer is allowed again in Iceland.

1935
Golf is played for the first time in Iceland.

1935
Telecommunication between Iceland and foreign countries becomes reality.

1931
Public busses operated in Reykjavík for the first time.

1930
Hótel Borg, Iceland's largest hotel at that time, opens its doors.

1930
The States radio station, RÚV, begins broadcasting.

1928
Drilling for hot water in Laugardalur, Reykjavík, marks the beginning of the district heating in Reykjavík.

1928
The first scheduled domestic flight in Iceland takes place between Reykjavík in the south and Akureyri in the north.

1922
Icelandic currency is issued for the first time.

1922
The first woman is elected to take a place in the national assembly, Althingi.

1919
The first flight of an airplane takes place in Reykjavik.

1918
Iceland becomes a sovereign and independent state within the Kingdom of Denmark.

1918
The coldest year in Iceland's recorded history. The temperature measures -37,9 °C at Grímsstaðir á Fjöllum.

1918
The Spanish Influenza spreads in Iceland, over 10,000 people are infected and 300 die.

1915
Production and trade of all alcoholic beverages is prohibited in Iceland.

1913
Iceland's first and only railway is laid from Öskjuhlíð hill to Reykjavík Harbour. It was used to transport rocks and gravel for the harbour's construction.

1908
Education is declared compulsory for children 10 to 14 years old.

1907
Married women in Reykjavik are given eligibility and the right to vote in community elections.

1906
Iceland's first cinema opens in Reykjavik.

1905
The first Icelandic telecommunication company, Bæjarsíminn, is founded, connecting 15 telephones.

1904
The first automobile is imported to Iceland.

1904
Iceland is granted home rule. Hannes Hafstein is elected Iceland's first government minister.

1904
The first electrical lights are lit in Iceland.

1897
The first gramophone is imported to Iceland.

1886
Landsbankinn, the first bank institute in Iceland, is founded.

1882
Unmarried women and widows over 25 years old were granted the right to vote in community elections.

1880
The construction of the Parliament house in Reykjavík is begun.

1874
The Danish crown confirms the first constitution of Iceland, giving Althingi, the national assembly, legislative and appropriative authority.

1870
Many Icelanders begin to migrate to Canada and America in search for a better life.

1865
The first caesarean section is performed in Iceland. The child lives but the mother dies few days later.

1855
The Danish king legalizes freedom of the press in Iceland.

1844
The last pair of the great auk (Pinguinus impenis) is killed in Eldey rendering them extinct.

1830
The last execution in Iceland is carried out.

1800
Althingi is abolished with a royal decree from the Danish crown.

1798
Alþingi, the national assembly, is held at it's original location in Þingvellir for the last time.

1789
The Danish trade monopoly in Iceland ends.

1783
"Skaftáreldar", one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history, begins, killing over half of the population.

1782
Law abolishes excommunication.

1771
Reindeer brought to Iceland for the first time.

1750
Two daredevils climb to the top of Mountain Hekla, which, at that time, was believed to be the gateway to hell.

1703
The first complete census made in Iceland. At the time there were 50,358 people divided between 7,622 homes.

1700
The present (Gregorian) calendar is adopted.

1662
Iceland officially becomes a part of the Danish Monarchy.

1627
Algerian pirates invade the Westman Islands and abduct 242 of the inhabitants.

1602
The Danish trade monopoly in Iceland begins.

1550
The last Catholic bishop, Jón Arason, and his two sons were executed at Skálholt for the sakes of undermining the Lutheran church.

1541
The Reformation from Catholicism to Lutheranism is confirmed at Althingi.

1530
The first printing press in Iceland is set up at Hólar in Hjaltadalur.

1402
The Plague known as "Svarti dauði" (Black death) rages in Iceland, killing up to one third of the population.

1380
Iceland's rule passes on from the Norwegian Crown to the Danish Crown.

1343
Sister Katrín, found guilty of selling her soul to the devil, is the first person to be burnt on a stake in Iceland.

1262
Althingi swears an oath of allegiance to the Norwegian Crown, thereby ending the republic's independence.

1244
"Flóabardagi", the greatest sea battle ever to be fought along the coasts of Iceland takes place in Húnaflói bay.

1120+
The scholar Ari "the wise"writes a history of Iceland from settlement up to date, marking the beginning of saga writing in Iceland.

1117
The first book of Icelandic law, Hafliðaskrá, is written.

1104
A great eruption from the volcano Hekla destroys a whole valley of farms, killing large amounts of cattle by ash and fumes that poisoned the grass.

1006
Alþingi, Iceland's parliament, bans duels as the didn't reconcile very well with Christianity.

1000
Icelanders peacefully decide to convert from Heathen religion to Christianity, not so much for spiritual reasons as for political ones.

999
Leifur "the lucky" Ericsson explores America´s coast at Canada and discovers Newfoundland (Vinland the good).

985
Bjarni Herjolfsson sights the American mainland, the first among Europeans.

930
The settlement of Iceland ends and Althingi, a parliamentary assembly, is founded at Thingvellir.

874
The first free Norseman, Ingolfur Arnarson, settles in Iceland for life.

855
The Swedish Viking Garðar Svavarsson sails around Iceland and verifies that it is an island.

850
The Viking Naddoður accidentally discovers Iceland and names it Snaeland (The land of snow).

825
The Irish scholar Dicuíl records that Irish hermit monks have been leaving Ireland to settle in the island of Thule.

+/-330 BC
The Greek explorer Pytheas writes about a populated island in the north called Thule. Generally this island is believed to be Iceland.

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