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Tuesday 24th October
Cayman Islands Facts
The Cayman Islands are around one hundred and fifty miles from Cuba and one hundred and eighty miles north west of Jamaica.

The highest point in the Cayman Islands is the Bluff (43 m) on the island of Cayman Brac.

Grand Cayman is the largest of the islands, measuring seven miles across, at its widest, and twenty-eight miles long. Cayman Brac is the second largest island.

All three Cayman Islands are submerged mountain tops so there are walls around the islands, some up to twenty thousand feet or more in depth.

Christopher Columbus, in the service of Spain, sighted the islands in 1503.

Columbus named the islands Las Tortugas as there were many giant turtles in the surrounding seas. Later, the islands were renamed Caymanas from the Carib word for crocodile.

Cayman Islands, along with Jamaica, were ceded to England by Spain in 1670.

The Cayman Islands were colonized from Jamaica by the British during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

On 8 February 1794 ten merchant ships were wrecked off the East End of Grand Cayman. This is known as the Wreck of the Ten Sails.

The Abolition of the Slave Trade Act (1807) prohibited the slave trade within the British Empire. (Slaves in the British colonies did not gain their freedom until the 1830s. The 1833 Abolition of Slavery Act began the process leading to emancipation).

In 1863 the Cayman Islands became a dependency of Jamaica.

Jamaica achieved independence on 6 April 1962 but the Cayman Islands remained tied to Britain.

The Cayman Islands is an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom.

A new Constitution in 1972 allowed for greater autonomy for the people of the Cayman Islands.

The British Overseas Territories Act (2002) granted British citizenship to all Caymanians.

In 2004 Hurricane Ivan, a Category 5 Hurricane, hit the Cayman Islands damaging many structures on Grand Cayman. It is estimated that up to a quarter of the buildings were destroyed.

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