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Timeline of Major Historical Moments in New Caledonia

1600 BCELapita Culture: The Pacific Ocean people migrate to New Caledonia & develop Kanak culture
1000 BCEPolynesians migrate to New Caledonia
1774The English navigator Captain James Cook lands on the island & calls it New Caledonia
1841Missionaries settle in New Caledonia, with Protestants on one side & Catholics on the other
1853-1946French Dependency of New Caledonia
1864-1894French Penal Colony
1864Nickel ore is discovered, sparking the French to import of laborers from the neighboring islands, French Indochina, the Dutch East Indies & Japan
1878-1921European diseases such as smallpox & measles kill more than half of the Kanak population
1878Kanak Uprising: The indigenous Kanak people revolt against the French colonists
1943-1945WWII: Americans establish a Pacific base in New Caledonia, introducing Coca-Cola & chewing gum
1957All New Caledonians are granted the right to vote
1946-presentFrench Overseas Territory of New Caledonia