Iceland was discovered by Naddodd in 860, over 1,100 years ago, when he was heading to the Faroe Islands, but drifted off course and landed near Reyðarfjörður in Iceland. Since then, Iceland’s past has been filled with noteworthy historical events. We’ve been busy compiling some of the most significant events, and have added all of them to our Facebook page! To give you a glimpse of that complete list, we’ve pulled out a few things we think are particularly interesting and showcased them below:
- 1915 – Universal Suffrage; women and workers, irrespective of the taxes they paid, are given the right to vote.
- 12/1/1918 – Iceland becomes a sovereign, independent nation. The Danish King remains head of state.
- 1922– Ingibjörg H. Bjarnason becomes the first woman to be elected into parliament.
- 6/17/1944 – The Republic of Iceland is established at the ancient site of the Althing at Þingvellir on the birthday of Jón Sigurðsson.
- 4/4/1949 – Iceland officially joins the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
- 1956 – Vilhjálmur Einarsson becomes the first Icelander to win a medal at the Olympics, receiving a siler medal for Men’s Triple Jump.
- 11/14/1963 – Volcanic eruption forms Surtsey, a volcanic island off the southern coast of Iceland.
- 1968 – Kristján Eldjárn becomes the third president of Iceland
- 1984 – Bjarni Friðriksson becomes the second Icelander to win a medal at the Olympics, winning bronze in judo.
- 9/30/2006 – The United States Army abandons the military base in Keflavík, thus ending a 55-year U.S. military presence in Iceland.
- 2008 – The Icelandic Men’s National Handball team wins silver at the Beijing Olympics, the first Olympic medal won by Iceland in a team sport.
- 2/1/2009 – Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir becomes the first female prime minister of Iceland and the world’s first openly gay head of government of the modern era.
- 6/1/2010 – In a unanimous vote, Iceland legalizes same-sex marriage.
Interested in learning more fun historical facts about Iceland? Click here to see these and many more!