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Tuesday 12th December
St Kitts and Nevis Facts
St Kitts and Nevis belong to group of islands known as the Leeward Islands. Other islands in the group include Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, the British Virgin Islands, and the United States Virgin Islands.

The highest point in St Kitts and Nevis is Mount Liamuiga (1,156 m).

Mount Liamuiga is a dormant volcano.

The Carib inhabitants of St. Kitts called the island Liamuiga which means "fertile land".

Christopher Columbus, a navigator in the service of Spain, first sighted St Kitts and Nevis in 1493.

The island of St Kitts was named Saint Christopher. St Christopher was called St Kitts by British colonists.

The name Nevis is derived from the Spanish for snow (nieves). It is said that Nevis was named "Our Lady of the Snows" as clouds on the mountain looked like snow.

The British set up a Colony on the island of St Kitts in 1623.

In 1626 British and French colonists killed two thousand Carib people on St Kitts.

A British Colony was started on the island of Nevis in 1628.

Towards the end of the eighteenth century there were sixty-eight sugar plantations on the island of St. Kitts.

Anguilla was annexed to St Kitts and Nevis in 1825.

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).

Between 1958 and 1962 St. Kitts and Nevis and Anguilla were members of the Federation of the West Indies.

In 1967 St Kitts, Nevis and Anguilla became a West Indies Associated State with internal autonomy.

Anguilla's association with St Kitts and Nevis was formally ended in 1980.

St Kitts and Nevis achieved independence in 1983.

The Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis is a member of the Commonwealth.

A referendum on whether Nevis should secede from St Kitts failed as it did not reach the two-thirds majority required for secession (1998).

Hurricanes which have caused destruction in St Kitts and Nevis include Hurricane George (1998) and Hurricane Lenny (1999).

In 2005 the government of St Kitts and Nevis decided to wind down the loss-making sugar industry.

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