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Monday 23rd October
US Virgin Islands Information - Page 2
History
Amerindian people, Arawaks and Caribs, were early inhabitants of the Virgin Islands.

Columbus, in the service of Spain, discovered the Virgin Islands in 1493.

Following Coloumbus' discovery, the [United States] Virgin Islands were settled by the Spanish, Dutch, British, French and Danes.

During the seventeenth century the archipelago of the Virgin Islands divided into the British Virgin Islands and the Danish West Indies.

The USA bought the Danish West Indies, excluding Water Island, during the First World War. Water Island was bought by the US in 1944 and transferred to the USVI territorial government at the end of 1996.

Economy
The tourist industry, the main employer in the United States Virgin Islands, provides the largest percentage of the Territory's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The industrial sector provides a fairly significant percentage of the GDP whilst earnings from agriculture are minimal. Industries are petroleum refining, construction, pharmaceuticals, electronics, watch assembly, textiles and rum. (2011)

Arts
The culture of the United States Virgin Islands is varied reflecting the heritage of its people.

The diversity of the US Virgin Islands can be experienced at carnival time. Such festivities are an opportunity to hear a variety of musical styles, for example, Caribbean calypso and reggae, as well as Latin American music.

A world famous Virgin Islander is the Impressionist artist Camille Pissarro (1830-1903), born on the island of St Thomas of European and Jewish ancestry.

Sport
Baseball is the most popular sport in the United States Virgin Islands. Other sports in the USVI include basketball, football, cricket, tennis, and track and field.

Popular water sports are kayaking, swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, wind surfing, sailing, and deep-sea fishing.

Holidays
All religious holidays are celebrated. Other holidays include New Year's Day - 1 January, and Transfer Day - 27 March (from Denmark to the US, 1917).

News
News from the United States Virgin Islands is available from Newslink.

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