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Tuesday 12th December
Dominica Facts
Dominica belongs to a group of islands known as the Leeward Islands which are part of the Lesser Antilles island chain. Other islands in the group include Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, the British Virgin Islands, and the United States Virgin Islands.

The highest point in Dominica is Morne Diablatins (1,447 m).

There are a number of volcanoes on Dominica but there have been no major eruptions for centuries.

Boiling Lake, in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, is one of the world's largest thermal lakes.

Stone Age tribes from the Orinoco were the first people to inhabit Dominica.

Excavations have discovered pottery belonging to Amerindian people living in Dominica over a thousand years ago.

Today, three thousand Carib Indians live in the tropical forest of Dominica.

Christopher Columbus visited the island in 1493. As he landed on a Sunday, he called the island Dominica (Sunday Island).

During the early seventeenth century, both the British and French had settlements on Dominica.

Dominica was ceded to Britain in 1763 (Treaty of Paris).

Black African slaves were used as labour on the plantations.

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).

Jean Rhys, the novelist, was born in Dominica. She is famous for Wide Sargasso Sea, which tells the story of the first wife of Mr Rochester, a character in Charlotte Bronte's novel Jane Eyre.

Between 1958 and 1962, Dominica was a member of the West Indies Federation.

Dominica gained its independence in 1978.

Two years after independence Mary Eugenia Charles became the first female Prime Minister in the Caribbean.

Coup attempts took place Dominica in 1981.

Token Dominican forces took part in the invasion of Grenada in 1983 when US forces and six Caribbean countries ousted coup leaders.

Dominica suffered from hurricanes in 1979 (Hurricane David), 1980 (Hurricane Allen), 1995 (Hurricane Luis) and 1999 (Hurricane Lenny).

In November 2004 an earthquake occurred in the north of Dominica causing millions of dollars of damage.

Hurricane Dean destroyed most of Dominica's banana crop in August 2007.

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