WELCOME TO THE

US VIRGIN ISLANDS

“United in pride and hope”

WELCOME TO THE

US VIRGIN ISLANDS

“United in pride and hope”

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A fond welcome to locals and visitors!

Each and every visit to the Caribbean is like no other. There is always something new to learn, places to go or things to do. Sculpted by nature, the islands are ever-changing and evolving. With so many islands to choose from it is never easy to decide on where to stop.
We want to introduce you to our beautifully unique islands. Make sure you stay a while, take your time! In the Caribbean there’s no rush, let’s just ‘go with the flow’.
The more you learn, the more you will want to know, so relax and discover

the wonderful US Virgin Islands

US VIRGIN ISLANDS

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, THE CAPITAL

Charlotte Amalie is located on the island of St. Thomas and is the largest city of the United States Virgin Islands. It’s deep-water harbour was once a haven for pirates, but it is now one of the busiest ports for cruise ships in the Caribbean. The city is known for its Danish influences, see in its colonial architecture and building structure and many streets and places carry Danish names.

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, THE CAPITAL

US VIRGIN ISLANDS
Charlotte Amalie is located on the island of St. Thomas and is the largest city of the United States Virgin Islands. It’s deep-water harbour was once a haven for pirates, but it is now one of the busiest ports for cruise ships in the Caribbean. The city is known for its Danish influences, see in its colonial architecture and building structure and many streets and places carry Danish names.

US VIRGIN ISLANDS MUST STOPS:

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DOMINIO CLUB
Venture into the west end tropical forest of St.Croix and be sure to visit Mount Pelier Domino Club, a bar owned by Norma George. However, it is much more than just a bar and Norma is the reason why. Her almost constant smile and welcoming nature makes you feel right at home. All your worries and cares seem to slip away as you sit at the bar under the thatched roof with a gentle and cooling breeze. Well looked after by Norma, it’s somewhere locals frequent and visitors can’t wait to return to. The bar is also home to the infamous beer drinking pigs, be sure to buy them a beer (non-alcoholic) if you happen to stop by!
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NATIONAL PARK
Virgin Islands National Park encompasses over two-thirds the island of St. John, and almost all of Hassel Island. Much of the prehistoric past and over a hundred historic sites comprise one the most comprehensive and undisturbed Caribbean landscapes.

Significant prehistoric sites are present on almost every beach and in every bay within the park. These archaeological sites date from as early as 840 BC to the arrival of Columbus in 1493. First came the Archaic Period sites of the early nomadic hunter-gatherers, followed by chiefdom villages, then complex ceremonial sites. Each had its own burial ground. These sites have given us a greater understanding of the region’s prehistory, along with the religious and social development of the Taino people who greeted Columbus.

Official Website: www.nps.gov

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99 STEPS
Located in the beautiful city Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas is one of several ‘step-streets’ originally built by the Danes in the mid 1700s. The bricks were brought over from Denmark and if you count as you climb them you will soon realise there are actually 103 steps. What is unique about these steps is that once you reach the top, you will be faced with another set of stairs which lead to Blackbeard’s Castle. The Castle is one of five National Historic Landmarks in the US Virgin Islands.
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DRAKE'S SEAT
Drake’s Seat offers one of the best panoramic views of Magens Bay and the US and British Virgin Islands which lie to the east. It is said the British explorer; Sir Francis Drake used this area as a vantage point. Whom he was keeping an eye on is debateable, he is said to either have been spying on enemy ships of the Spanish fleet or keeping watch over his own fleet. The spot is marked by a seat, hence the name, located across the road from the parking area.

History of US Virgin Islands

US VIRGIN ISLANDSBefore the Europeans came to America, the Antilles were inhabited by Indians. Quite a number of excavations have been carried out by Danish archaeologists in order to get an impression of these original inhabitants, especially in Saint Croix around the Salt River area which is today a National Park.

This area was exactly where Christopher Columbus and his men landed in November 1493 during his second voyage from Europe across the Atlantic. The islanders – Tainoes – succeeded in chasing the Spaniards away after an intense fight. Columbus named the archipelago the Virgin Islands after the legend about Saint Ursula and her eleven-thousand virgins.

After a long period of Spanish control, other European powers got involved in trade and shipping to the Caribbean, and from the early seventeenth century they tried to establish colonies of their own which could produce the costly colonial commodities, first and foremost sugar and tobacco.

In the wake of Netherlanders, Englishmen and Frenchmen, the Danes started sailing to the Caribbean. At the beginning as crew members onboard foreign vessels, but from the 1640s under the Danish flag. The Danes were particularly interested in the island of Saint Thomas which was not expressly claimed by any other European nation and which was favoured by an excellent natural harbour.

The Danish West Indies consisted of three small islands in the Caribbean situated to the east of Puerto Rico, namely Saint Thomas since the 1660s, Saint John since 1718, and Saint Croix from 1733. Altogether these islands make up only 333 square kilometers. The colony was characterized by trade and shipping in Saint Thomas and sugar plantations in Saint Croix, whereas Saint John was considered as just an appendix to the neighbouring Saint Thomas. The three islands stayed a Danish colony until 1917 when they were sold to the United States.

The remaining islanders in what had now become the United States Virgin Islands had been looking forward to improved living conditions under American rule. But the following years turned out to become hard. The much-needed reforms within education, health care, and business investments were not carried out. The sugar from Saint Croix had problems in being let in on the American market, while rum was a bad business during the American prohibition period beginning in 1919, and just a few ships called at Saint Thomas.

The islands became known as America’s Poorhouse, but some improvement was experienced when the New Deal program was applied to the Virgin Islands during the 1930s. The three small islands were under Naval rule until 1931, when the first civil administration was appointed by the American President and confirmed by the Congress in Washington. During the early 1930s the economy went from bad to worse as a result of the worldwide great depression, and a considerable number of Virgin Islanders emigrated to the United States. Voting rights were limited to less than six percent of the islanders because of income, sex and property requirements until 1936 when universal suffrage was given.

After the Second World War, general conditions began to improve as the beautiful Virgin Islands slowly attracted more and more American tourists, especially after the United States had broken off all relations with Cuba and closed that island to American tourists in 1962. Since 1954, the status of the three islands has been that of an unincorporated territory under the administration of the federal Department of the Interior, but with self-government in a number of fields.

In the early 1960s, industry was boosted by the establishment in Saint Croix of Harvey Aluminium Company and Hess Oil Refinery. Nevertheless, tourism has become the most important source of income. One-and-a-half million tourists visit the islands each year, mostly arriving on cruisers in Saint Thomas for a one-day visit.

Information courtesy of virgin-islands-history.dk

UPCOMING EVENTS:

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RADIO
The flag of the US Virgin Islands was adopted on 17th May 1921.

A simplified version of the United States coat of arms is displayed between the letters V and I. This is because the islands are part of the territories of the United States of America. The lettering stands for Virgin Islands. 

The eagle holds an olive branch in one claw and three arrows in the other, the latter depicting the three major islands that make up the US Virgin Islands. The white background of the flag is said to represent purity.

BAHAMAS
Referred to as the seal of the United Stated Virgin Islands, it featured the three main islands that make up the archipelago. In the centre is the Bananaquit, the flags national bird. The flags of the United States and of Denmark also feature, this symbolises their status as a self-governing territory of the United States and its former status as a Danish colony. 

The seal reads ‘Government of the United States Virgin Islands’.

Virgin Islands March is the local anthem, as a territory of the US, ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ is the official anthem.

Virgin Islands March Lyrics:

  1. All hail our Virgin Islands.
    Em’ralds of the sea,
    Where beaches bright with coral sand
    And trade winds bless our native land.
    All hail our Virgin Islands,
    Bathed in waters blue,
    We give our loyalty,
    Full to thee,
    And pledge allegiance forever true.2. To thee our Virgin Islands,
    Loving voices raise
    A song in praise of brotherhood,
    Where right makes might to fight for good.
    To thee our Virgin Islands,
    Haven of the free,
    We sing our love to thee,
    Joyously,
    Our own fair islands of liberty.3. March on oh Virgin Islands,
    In the joyful throng,
    Uphold the right and right the wrong
    Where only peace and love belong.
    March on oh Virgin Islands,
    Democratic land.
    Together hand in hand,
    Take your stand,
    Forever soldiers in freedom’s band.4. God bless our Virgin Islands,
    Humbly now we pray,
    Where all mankind can join today
    In friendly warmth of work and play.
    God bless our Virgin Islands,
    Beautiful and tall.
    Beneath a sunny sky,
    Hilltops high
    Hold out a welcome for one and all.

BASIC INFO:

  • TIME ZONE:

    Atlantic Standard Time (AST)

  • CAPITAL CITY

    Charlotte Amalie

  • LANGUAGE

    English

  • INDEPENDENCE

    None – Self-governing territory of the US

  • ETHNIC GROUPS

    Black 76%, white 15.6%, Asian 1.4%, other 4.9%, mixed 2.1%

  • POPULATION

    107,268 (July 2017)

  • NATIONAL DISH

    Fish and Fungi

    Check out the recipe

  • CURRENCY

    United States Dollar

Albert Bryan Governor General of US Virgin Islands

Albert Bryan

Governor
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Tregenza Roach

Lieutenant Governor

Governors

MELVIN EVANS

(1917–1984)

TOOK OFFICE: 01/07/1969 – LEFT OFFICE: 06/01/1975

CYRIL KING

(1921–1978)

TOOK OFFICE: 06/01/1975 – LEFT OFFICE: 02/01/1978

JUAN LUIS

(1940–2011)

TOOK OFFICE: 02/01/1978 – LEFT OFFICE: 05/01/1987

ALEXANDER FARRELLY

(1923–2002)

TOOK OFFICE: 05/01/1987 – LEFT OFFICE: 02/01/1995

ROY SCHNEIDER

(1939–)

TOOK OFFICE: 02/01/1995 – LEFT OFFICE: 04/01/1999

CHARLES TURNBULL

(1935–)

TOOK OFFICE: 04/01/1999 – LEFT OFFICE: 01/01/2007

JOHN DE JONGH

(1957–)

TOOK OFFICE: 01/01/2007 – LEFT OFFICE: 05/01/2015

KENNETH MAPP

(1955–)

TOOK OFFICE: 05/01/2015 – 07/01/2019

ALBERT BRYAN

(1968–)

TOOK OFFICE: 07/01/2019 – INCUMBENT

Lieutenant Governors

DAVID MAAS

TOOK OFFICE: 01/07/1969 – LEFT OFFICE: 20/02/1973

CLAUDE MOLLOY (acting)

TOOK OFFICE: 20/02/1973 – LEFT OFFICE: 05/04/1973

ATHNIEL C. OTTLEY

TOOK OFFICE: 05/04/1973 – LEFT OFFICE: 06/01/1975

JUAN LUIS

TOOK OFFICE: 06/01/1975 – LEFT OFFICE: 02/01/1978

HENRY MILLIN

TOOK OFFICE: 10/03/1978 – LEFT OFFICE: 01/1983

JULIO BRADY

TOOK OFFICE: 01/1983 – LEFT OFFICE: 05/01/1987

DEREK HODGE

TOOK OFFICE: 05/01/1987 – LEFT OFFICE: 02/01/1995

KENNETH MAPP

TOOK OFFICE: 02/01/1995 – LEFT OFFICE: 04/01/1999

GERARD JAMES II

TOOK OFFICE: 04/01/1999 – LEFT OFFICE: 06/01/2003

VARGRAVE RICHARDS

TOOK OFFICE: 06/01/2003 – LEFT OFFICE: 01/01/2007

GREGORY FRANCIS

TOOK OFFICE: 01/01/2007 – LEFT OFFICE: 05/01/2015

OSBERT POTTER

TOOK OFFICE: 05/01/2015 – LEFT OFFICE: 07/01/2019

TREGENZA ROACH

TOOK OFFICE: 07/01/2019 – INCUMBENT

LINK DIRECTORY:

A list of top sites in a variety of categories

Contributors

The team at caribbean1st.com would like to thank all contributors. The amazing websites we found that hold a wealth of resources and the individuals who have taken time to send us information and great pictures.

Our aim is to offer a complete and useful list of information to discover each island and their people. Your contribution would be much appreciated. Please feel free to send us any information that you would like us to feature in this website and we will do our best to keep every page up to date.