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Tuesday 12th December
Turks and Caicos Facts
The highest point in the Turks and Caicos Islands is Blue Hills (49 m).

Early inhabitants of the Turks and Caicos Islands were from the American mainland.

The Spanish were the first Europeans to arrive in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Bermudans started the salt industry on the island of Grand Turk. The industry lasted from the 1660s until 1970.

Britain claimed ownership of the Turks and Caicos Islands in 1764.

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).

Before the abolition of slavery, some slaves tried to escape to Haiti where slaves had rebelled and taken control of the country.

The Turks and Caicos Islands suffered extensive damage from hurricanes in 1813 and, again, in 1926.

Many ships were wrecked on the reefs surrounding the Turks and Caicos Islands. These included an early sixteenth century Spanish vessel and the Trouvadore slave ship (1841).

It is estimated that almost two hundred slaves survived the Trouvadore wreck. Many of these people became inhabitants the Turks and Caicos Islands and the [British] Bahamas where slavery had come to an end.

A lighthouse was built on Grand Turk in 1852.

The Bahamas controlled the Turks and Caicos Islands between 1799 and 1848.

The Turks and Caicos Islands were a dependency of the UK's Jamaican colony from 1873 until 1962.

The governor of the Bahamas oversaw affairs in the Turks and Caicos Islands from 1965 to 1973.

US bases were constructed on the island of Grand Turk in the 1950s.

John Glenn, the first American astronaut to orbit the earth (February 1962), "splashed down" in the Atlantic near the Turks and Caicos Islands. Glenn's debriefing took place on Grand Turk.

The Turks and Caicos Islands is an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom.

The Head of State of the the Turks and Caicos Islands is the British monarch, represented by a Governor.

The Turks and Caicos were numbered among Caribbean islands that suffered from tropical storms in 2008. Hurricane Ike affected a high percentage of buildings; some were totally destroyed.

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