1510—First recorded European contact with Seminole ancestors.
Spanish slave ship reaches South Florida peninsula.
1513—Spaniards claim Eastern U.S., and call it La Florida.
1539–1543—Hernando DeSoto explores Southeast; this is the first contact with a white person for many tribes.
1565—Spaniards establish St Augustine–first permanent European city in North America.
1670—English settle Charles Towne, begin coastal skirmishes with Spanish.
1690s—French settle Louisiana.
1704–1708—English destroy Floridian Spanish missions; kill or enslave thousands of natives.
1740—Alachua, earliest recorded Seminole town, established in North Florida.
1763—Spain cedes Florida to England.
1776—Revolutionary War creates United States of America.
circa 1804—Osceola (William Powell) born near
1813–1814—Creek War in Alabama forces native survivors to flee southward, where they join Florida natives. General Andrew Jackson rises to power.
1816—First Seminole War begins after Jackson crosses into Northern Florida.
1823—Treaty of Moultrie Creek. Seminoles give up 28 million acres, and retain 4 million.
1833—Treaty of Payne’s Landing ratified by Congress. Promised 5 million acres in Southwest Florida to Seminoles.
Dec. 28, 1835—Osceola leads Seminoles at Battle of Withlacoochee, slays U.S. Indian Agent Major Francis Dade,
105 soldiers killed en route to Fort King (Ocala). Second Seminole War (1835–1842) begins.
1837—Osceola captured under flag of truce, removed to South Carolina prison.
Dec. 25 1837—Battle of Okeechobee. One thousand federal troops under General Zachary Taylor fight fewer than 500 Seminoles, led by Alligator, Abiaka, Jumper and others. Twentysix of 37 dead are U.S. soldiers, most of them Missouri Volunteers.
Jan. 1838—Osceola dies in prison.
1855—Billy Bowlegs leads attack on
U.S. Army surveyors. Third Seminole
1858—Third Seminole War officially ends with capture of Billy Bowlegs. A few hundred Seminoles, including Abiaka, remain in Big Cypress and other isolated parts of Florida. U.S. government abandons efforts to remove all Seminoles.
1888—Trail of Tears forces 16,000 Cherokees from their eastern homeland to Oklahoma. At least 2,000 die along the way. About 3,000 Seminoles, including Wild Cat (Coacoochee) and Alligator are shipped to Oklahoma.
1890s—Seminoles and whites begin to trade peacefully on the borders of the Everglades.
1914–1918—Flu epidemic wipes out entire Seminole families.
1925—Hurricane devastates Everglades wilderness, many Seminoles are left homeless.
1928—Tamiami Trail opens, fueling the boom in South Florida tourism. Seminoles begin to sell crafts and
wrestle alligators. Killer hurricane hits Lake Okeechobee region, whips up a tidal wave that drowns 4,000 in
the worst natural disaster before Hurricane Andrew.
1933—First formal education at Brighton Indian Day School, opened by teachers William and Edith
1934—Indian Reorganization Act, promotes native self-determination. “Five Civilized Tribes;” a book written
by Grant Foreman, arbitrarily designates Seminoles, along with Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee and Creek
1936—Herd of half-starved cattle arrive in Brighton from Apache. Seminole cattle industry begins.
1946—Creation of United Indian Claims Commission.
1947—Seminole Indians file petition with Claims Commission for a settlement to cover lost lands. Florida
State University (FSU) students choose Seminole as official school mascot.
1953—U.S. House Resolution proposes termination of Seminole Tribe.
1957—Seminole Constitution ratified by vote of 241-5. Tribe gains federal status as the Seminole Tribe of
Florida. First Tribal Council is elected; Billy Osceola, is first elected chairman; first president, Frank Billie
resigns and is succeeded by Bill Osceola. First annual budget: $11,000.
1962—Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida gain federal recognition.
1963—First Seminole newspaper, Smoke Signals, published. It is renamed Alligator Times in 1973, and
The Seminole Tribune in 1981.
1967—Betty Mae Jumper, first woman elected to chair any tribe in North America.
1968—Oath of Unity signed by Choctaw, Cherokee, Seminole and Miccosukee Tribes, leading to formation
of United South and Eastern Tribes (USET).
1971—Howard Tommie elected chairman. Eight-year term sees advent of tax-free cigarette sales, which
boosted tribal budget to $4.5 million annually by 1976, introduces bingo, initiates negotiations for bingo.
1979—James E. Billie elected tribal chairman. Bingo becomes biggest source of tribal income. Immokalee
and Tampa reservations established.
1981—U.S. Supreme Court affirms tribe’s right to high-stakes bingo on Hollywood reservation in Seminole
Tribe of Florida vs. Butterworth. Tampa bingo hall opens.
1987—Big Cypress and Brighton host ribbon cutting ceremonies for new Multi-Purpose Centers, aided by
a $250,000 Federal Community Development block grant. The two centers will consist of a senior center,
headstart center, kitchen and tribal offices.
1988—National Indian Gaming Regulatory Act passed, limits placed on Class III games, including electronic
video machines. Limited casinos set up on Hollywood, Immokalee and Tampa reservations.
1990—The Seminole Tribune receives Robert F. Kennedy journalism award from Ethel Kennedy.
The Timuguanas lived across Northeast Florida and up the St. Johns River in
the 1500s. A Frenchman, Jacques Le Moyne, sketched Saturiwa, a great
leader, in 1564.
1991—Seminole Tribal Housing Authority holds groundbreaking on Brighton reservation for creation of 15
1992—Seminoles in Florida and Oklahoma collect land claims against the U.S. for unconscionable acts
during the Seminole Wars. With interest, Seminole Tribe of Florida nets almost $10 million. Independent
Seminoles refuse to settle; funds are held in trust.
1995—Tribe moves headquarters to new four-story building in Hollywood.
1996—Fort Pierce reservation established.
1996—Cattleman Fred Smith, who was tribal president longer than anyone, dies in Brighton. James Billie
elected to record fifth term as tribal chairman. Tribal budget exceeds $100 million.
1997—Sovereignty of tribe challenged by National Indian Gaming Commission, U.S.
Attorney. Seminoles assume full management of gaming activities on Hollywood reservation.
Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum opens in Big Cypress.
1998—Tribal budget exceeds $127 million. Seminole Marketplace online shopping plaza
opens for business. Termination of lease, and buy out of Hollywood reservation lease for
66.85-acre property known as Candlelite Park. First Seminole sugarcane crop harvested
reaping 10 percent more than estimated tonnage. Micco SP20, first aircraft
produced by tribally owned Micco Aircraft Company. Tribe purchases
1984 Gulfstream III Jet. Billie Swamp Safari receives
200,000 visitors per year. Seminole Okalee Village re-opens.
Tribe is largest beef producer in the United States.
1999—First Kissimmee Slough Shootout and
Rendezvous Re-Enactment. Gulf Stream IV-SP jet purchased.
Groundbreaking for Coconut Creek and Brighton Casinos.
2000—Micco SP26 Aircraft certified by FAA. Resolution passed to upgrade Tampa Four Points
Hotel and Casino and Build Gaming complex at
Candlelite Park property in Hollywood. Tribe manages
all Seminole casinos: Immokalee, Hollywood,
Coconut Creek, Brighton and Tampa.
March 2000—Grand opening of Coconut Creek Casino.
December 2000—Seminole Bingo and Gaming Casino opens new version of Bingo Hall from late-70s.
2001—Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood groundbreaking, Tampa Four Points Hotel closed to make way for Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa.
May 13, 2002—Official signing ceremony of Phase I for construction on Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in both Hollywood and Tampa.
2003—Mitchell Cypress elected as chairman, Moses Osceola elected as president. Tribe sells Micco Aircraft assets.
April 2003—Phase II construction of Hard Rock Casino Hollywood begins.
July 2003—Grand opening of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa. Phase I complete.
2004—Ribbon cutting for Fort Pierce satellite office and senior center. Groundbreaking of new home sites at Hawks Landing in Fort Pierce. Seminole Tribe Motocross opens in Big Cypress.
March 2004—Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa officially
opens for business.
May 2004—Grand Opening of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood.
2007—Mitchell Cypress re-elected as chairman. Richard Bowers Jr. elected as president.
March 5, 2007—Seminole Tribe of Florida acquires Hard Rock International. This marks the first purchase of a major corporation by a native American tribe
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