Timeline of Hong Kong history

Date Ruling entity Events Other people/events
221 BC Qin Dynasty First records of the territory in Chinese history  
206 BC Han Dynasty Inhabitants in Ma Wan Island  
25 AD   Building of Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb (est.)  
901 AD   Punti settlement  
1075 Song Dynasty Founding of Li Ying College  
1163   Salt fields in Hong Kong first officially managed  
1277   China’s Imperial court found refuge in Silvermine Bay on Lantau Island during the Battle of Yamen  
1513 Ming Dynasty Jorge Álvares arrives in Tuen Mun  
1661 Qing Dynasty Kangxi Emperor orders the Great Clearance, which requires the evacuation of the coastal areas of Guangdong. What is now the territory of Hong Kong became largely wasteland during the ban.[1]  
1669   The coastal ban is lifted  
1685     Kangxi Emperor opens limited trade on a regular basis starting with Canton
1757     British East India Company pursued a monopoly on opium production beginning with India in the far east
1793     Anglo-Chinese relations
1839     First Opium War (1839–42)

Colonial Hong Kong

British Crown colony

Date Governor Events Other people/events
1841 Charles Elliot Convention of Chuenpi
Commodore James Bremer at Possession Point
1842 Henry Pottinger Treaty of Nanking  
1843   Formation of the Legislative Council and Executive Council Ying Wa College, world’s first Anglo-Chinese school relocated to Hong Kong
1847 John Francis Davis Building of Kowloon Walled city  
1851 George Bonham   Taiping Rebellion
1853   Chinese serial  
1855 John Bowring First proposal of Praya Reclamation Scheme  
1856   Second Opium War  
1859 Hercules Robinson    
1860   Convention of Peking,
British rules Kowloon south of Boundary Street,
Establishment of Diocesan Girls’ School
1861   British acquired Kowloon Peninsula Frederick Stewart modernise HK education
1865   Establishment of HK Shanghai Bank  
1866 Richard Graves
Four big families of Hong Kong (est.)  
1868   The Viceroy of Guangdong and Guangxi, ordered four customs stations to be established in waterways surrounding Hong Kong and Kowloon at Fat Tong Chau, Ma Wan, Cheung Chau and Kowloon Walled City. It was so-called “blockade of Hong Kong” by the Hong Kong Government.[2] These stations ceased to operate in 1899 after the lease of the New Territories to Britain.[3]  
1872   Tung Wah Hospital established  
1874 Arthur Kennedy 1874 Hong Kong Typhoon Founding of the Universal Circulating Herald
1877 Arthur Kennedy    
1882 John Pope Hennessy    
1883 George Bowen    
1887 William Des Vœux Western medical science reaches Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese  
1888   Founding of Peak Tram  
1891 William Robinson    
1894   Third Pandemic of Bubonic Plague  
1898   Second Convention of Peking,
British rules New Territories and New Kowloon
1904 Henry Arthur Blake Peak Reservation Ordinance  
1906   1906 Hong Kong typhoon  
1907 Matthew Nathan    
1908   1908 Hong Kong Typhoon  
1912 Frederick Lugard   Establishment of the Republic of China,
Qing Dynasty overthrown
1918   Happy Valley Racecourse fire
Gresson Street shootout
1919 Francis Henry May    
1921   Praya East Reclamation Scheme  
1922   Seamen’s strike of 1922  
1923 Reginald Edward Stubbs Sun Yat-sen proclaimed his anti-corruption revolutionary ideas came from Hong Kong during HK university speech  
1924   Land allocation for Kai Tak Airport  
1925   Canton-Hong Kong strike  
1926 Cecil Clementi First Chinese member appointed to Executive Council  
1928   First pre-RTHK radio broadcast  
1930 William Peel    
1933   Founding of Kowloon Motor Bus  
1935 Andrew Caldecott    
1937   Great Hong Kong Typhoon of 1937  


Date Governor Events Other people/events
1941 Geoffry Northcote,
Mark Aitchison Young
Japanese occupation of Hong Kong begins after the Battle of Hong Kong Pearl Harbor incident,
U.S. enters World War II
1942 Rensuke Isogai    
1945 Hisakazu Tanaka End of Japanese occupation US drops atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki,
World War II ends,
United Nations formed
1946 Mark Aitchison Young    

British Crown colony

Date Governor Events Other people/events
1947   First government count of Hong Kong Taxi  
1948 Alexander Grantham HK Social Welfare Department formed  
1949     Establishment of People’s Republic of China
1953   Shek Kip Mei fire  
1955     Kashmir Princess assassination attempt
1956   Hong Kong 1956 riots  
1957   RTV a first terrestrial television station Asian Flu
1958 Robert Brown Black    
1960   Four asian tigers (est.)  
1962   Typhoon Wanda  
1964 David Clive Crosbie Trench    
1966   Hong Kong 1966 riots
Visit of Princess Margaret in March[4]
Cultural Revolution in China
1967   Hong Kong 1967 riots
TVB a second terrestrial television station
1968   Hong Kong flu  
1971   6-year free Primary education funded Typhoon Rose
1972   Small House Policy PRC request HK and Macau off United Nations list
1976 Murray MacLehose Home Ownership Scheme introduced  
1978     Chinese Economic Reform begins in China
1979   Establishment of Mass Transit Railway  
1980   PRC United Front strategy (est.)  
1982 Edward Youde ATV replacing RTV  
1983   Black Saturday  
1984   Sino-British Joint Declaration and the proposal of One country, two systems  
1987 David Wilson Black Monday  
1989     Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests
1990   Basic Law proclaimed  
1991   STAR TV a first satellite television station  
1992 Chris Patten United States-Hong Kong Policy Act  
1993   Cable TV Hong Kong a first pay television station  
1996   Garley building fire
Phoenix Satellite Television a first satellite television station based in Hong Kong
1997   Hong Kong transferred to the People’s Republic of China, first Special Administrative Region government formed.
Tsing Ma Bridge opened.
Beginning of mass poultry disposal as part of Bird Flu crisis
Asian Financial Crisis

People’s Republic of China

Date Chief Executive Events Other people/events
1998 Tung Chee Hwa Kai Tak International Airport replaced by Hong Kong International Airport  
1999   Right of Abode
Hello Kitty murder
Flight 642 crash
PRC bans Falun Gong and other “heterodox religions”
2003   SARS outbreak, 1:99 Concert
Leslie Cheung suicide
Harbour Fest
Demonstration against Article 23
2005 Donald Tsang WTO Hong Kong Ministerial Conference  
2007   2007 HK Island by-election  
2008   Edison Chen photo scandal
Leung Chin-man appointment controversy
HK holds 2008 Olympics Equestrian event
HK holds 2008 Paralympics Equestrian event
ATV management debacle
Citizens’ Radio raided
Mong Kok acid attacks
Beijing Olympics
Bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers
Sichuan earthquake
Artistes 512 Fund Raising Campaign
2009   2009 East Asian Games
20th anniversary Tiananmen square incident march
2009 Hong Kong Broadcasting Authority forum
2009 flu pandemic in Hong Kong
Hong Kong Macau cultural exchange
July 2009 Ürümqi riots
Global financial crisis
Xinjiang journalist attack
Artistes 88 Fund Raising Campaign
2010   2010 Hong Kong new year march
Five Constituencies referendum
TVB monopoly case
21st anniversary Tiananmen square incident march
CE and LegCo selection document
Opposition to the Guangzhou-Hong Kong Express Rail Link
Artistes 414 Fund Raising Campaign
Manila hostage crisis
2011   2011 Anti-budget demonstration
22nd anniversary of Tiananmen Square protests of 1989
Hong Kong 818 incident
Vallejos v. Commissioner of Registration
2011 Fa Yuen street fire
Free Ai Weiwei street art campaign
2012   Dolce & Gabbana photo incident
Early 2012 Hong Kong protests
Hong Kong mainland China driving scheme
2013 CY Leung Comilang v. Commissioner of Registration
Vallejos v. Commissioner of Registration
2013 Hong Kong dock strike
2014   2014 Hong Kong Protests (Umbrella Revolution)  
2015   Causeway Bay Books disappearances
Heavy metal in drinking water incidents
2016   January 2016 East Asia cold wave
Mong Kok civil unrest