Tawau was controlled by the Burenian Empire
Tawau was ceded to the Sultanate of Sulu as a gift for helping the Bruneian forces during a civil war in Brunei.
Netherlands signed a treaty with the Sultan of Bulungan
The name Tawao was used in nautical maps
Sultanate of Sulu sold the southern part of his land bounded by the Sibuco River to an Austro-Hungarian consul Baron von Overbeck.
Evidence of a settlement can be seen
Approximately 20 people lived in the Tawao settlement. Most of them were immigrants who fled from the Dutch and Spanish rule. Tawao was also renamed to Tawau during this time.
A final agreement was reached on the central division of the Sebatik Island.
A British vessel S.S. Normanhurst sailed into Tawau with a cargo to trade.
The British built a settlement which later grew rapidly when the British North Borneo Chartered Company (BNBC) sponsored the migration of Chinese to Tawau.
During World War II, the Japanese invasion of Borneo began.
The last and largest of these attacks was when 19 Liberator bombers bombed Tawau until it was completely razed to the ground.
Subsidies for the purchase of rice and flour were introduced.
Indonesia moved their first battalion of the Korps Komando Operasi (KKO) from Surabaya to Sebatik and opened several training camps near the border in eastern Kalimantan (now North Kalimantan).
A bombing attempt on the Kong Fah cinema.
Complete ceasefire in Tawau.