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Wednesday 13th December
Dominican Republic Facts
The Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola with the Republic of Haiti.

Hispaniola belongs to an island chain known as the Greater Antilles. Other islands in the group are Cuba, Jamaica and Puerto Rico.

Pico Duarte is the highest point (3,175 m) in the Dominican Republic.

Lake Enriquillo, one of the largest lakes in the Dominican Republic, is a salt water lake.

Taino Indians lived on the island of Hispaniola before the arrival of the Spanish.

Amerindian art can be seen in caves in the Dominican Republic.

Christopher Colombus, in the service of Spain, landed in Hispaniola in 1492.

The city of Santo Domingo, founded at the end of the fifteenth century, became a model for other Spanish towns in the Americas.

The Spanish established the first university in the Americas in Santo Domingo in 1538.

In 1697 the island of Hispaniola was divided between Spain and France. Santo Domingo remained Spanish but the western part of Hispaniola (Haiti) went to France.

Sainto Domingo was ceded to France in 1795 but Spain retook the Colony in 1808.

In 1821 a revolt against the Spanish was followed by a short period of independence.

Between 1822 and 1844 Santo Domingo was annexed by Haiti.

Juan Pablo Duarte, who led the movement for independence from Haiti, is celebrated as the Founding Father of the Nation (Duarte's Day is on 26 January).

Santo Domingo became the Dominican Republic in 1844.

In the early 1860s the Dominican Republic returned to Spanish rule for a brief period.

The second Dominican Republic was declared in 1865.

Ulises Heureaux was the dictator of the Dominican Republic from the end of the 1880s until his assassination in 1899.

In 1906 the USA negotiated a fifty-year Treaty with the Dominican Republic.

Internal disorder in the Republic led to occupation by US forces from 1916 until 1924.

General Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina controlled the Dominican Republic from 1930 until his assassination in 1961.

In 1963 the elected leader of the Republic, Juan Bosch, was deposed by a coup.

1965 saw civil war and brief US occupation in the Dominican Republic.

Hurricanes which have caused great destruction in the Dominican Republic include Hurricane David (1979) and Hurricane George (1998).

In November 2001 a plane en route for Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic crashed in New York killing over two hundred and fifty passengers and nine crew members.

Heavy flooding in parts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti in May 2004 killed over two thousand people and left many homeless.

A number of people died in flooding caused by Tropical Storm Noel at the end of October 2007. Several bridges collapsed and many homes were destroyed.

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