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US Virgin Islands History Timeline

US Virgin Islands's Information

Flag of US Virgin Islands
Land Area 346 km2
Water Area 1,564 km2
Total Area 1,910km2
Population 102,951 (#193)
Population Density 297.55/km2
Government Type Presidential Democracy; A Self-governing Territory Of The US
GDP (PPP) $3.79 Billion
GDP Per Capita $36,100
Currency Dollar (USD)
Largest Cities
  • (1000 BC) First people arrived on St. John, established village at Salt Pond Bay
  • (500 BC ) Ancestors of the Tainos arrived on St. John; original population killed or assimilated
AD 1000 - 1700s
  • (1000) Taino Indian culture arrived on St. John
  • (1493) Columbus sailed past the islands on his second voyage, reported it to be uninhabited
  • (1500s) St. John inhabited by small groups of Native Americans from other islands fleeing persecution
  • (1672) Danes settled St. Thomas
  • (1684) English prevented Danish attempts to settle St. Thomas
  • (1718) Erik Bredal, governor of St. Thomas, took formal possession of St. John in the name of the King of Denmark and the Danish West India Company; construction of a fort began, plantation era began using labor of enslaved Africans
  • (1733) St. John suffered from devastating hurricane, drought, insect plague;African slaves revolted against the owners of the St. John plantations, took control of most of the island
  • (1734) Slaves finally defeated by French troops from Martinique
  • (1755) King Fredrick of Denmark bought all the land, slaves, estates, ships, factories owned by the Danish West India Company
  • (1766) St. John and St. Thomas declared free ports by the Danish Crown
  • (1792) Danish passed law mandating end of African slave trade in ten years
  • (1807 - 1815) British reoccupied St. John
  • (1834) Slaves were emancipated in British Virgin Islands, St. John slaves escaped to Tortola
  • (1839) Law passed requiring slave children to attend school
  • (1840) Major escape by slaves to the British Virgin Islands
  • (1848) Slaves in Danish West Indies were emancipated
  • (1849) Labor Act forced freed slaves to stay on plantations
  • (1854) Cholera epidemic killed 218
  • (1856) Population ravaged by two more cholera epidemics
  • (1867) Devastating hurricane ended the plantation system, discouraged US plans to purchase the islands
  • (1868) Voters unanimously supported a US purchase of the islands; US rejected purchase of St. Thomas and St. John from Denmark for $7.5 million
  • (1878) Rebellion of disgruntled workers on St. Croix led by Mary Thomas (Queen Mary)
  • (1879) Labor Act amended to allow contract negotiation
  • (1902) Denmark rejected US offer to buy St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix for $5 million
  • (1917) Official transfer of Danish West Indies to US for $25 million
1900s continued
  • (1927) Virgin Islanders granted American citizenship
  • (1930) First automobile arrived on St. Thomas; U.S. Navy rule ended
  • (1931) Dr. Paul M. Pearson became first civilian governor
  • (1936) US Congress passed First Organic Act, gave political power to the local Virgin Islands government
  • (1946) First black governor, William H. Hastie, elected
  • (1962) First commercial jet landed in St. Thomas
  • (1971) Melvin Evans became first black Virgin Islander to be elected governor
  • (1989) Hurricane Hugo struck Caribbean, St. Croix hit the hardest
  • (1995) Hurricane Marilyn killed 10, caused $1.5 billion in damages
  • (1997) Dr. Donna Christian Green became first woman elected Virgin Islands' delegate to US Congress
  • (2004) Over 5,500 residents of St. Croix signed petition asking Congress to make it its own U.S. Territory
  • (2006) Former chief of environmental protection pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges to defraud government of more than $1 million
  • (2008) 40 boats sank or washed ashore during Hurricane Omar, caused oil spills
  • (2009) Police cancelled J'ouvert Carnival after four people were wounded in shooting and two stabbing's
  • (2010) U.S. federal authorities obtained court order requiring officials in U.S. Virgin Islands to repair sewage plants that dumped raw waste at beaches
  • (2011) Traffic stop led to seizure of 502 pounds (228 kg) of cocaine with street value of more than $6 million

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