The islands are named the Gilbert Islands after a British naval captain.
Britain declares a protectorate over the Gilbert Islands and the nearby Ellice Islands.
The colony is divided into two separate territories: the Gilbert Islands and the Ellice Islands.
The Gilbert Islands become an independent republic within the British Commonwealth and are renamed Kiribati.
Kiribati is admitted to the United Nations.
Kiribati creates the world's third-largest marine reserve.