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SENATE PRESIDENT: Today Marks The Beginning Of Virgin Islands History Month

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Senate President Kenneth Gittens said that today, March 1st, marks the beginning of Virgin Islands History Month.

Act 6802, sponsored by former Senator Shawn-Michael Malone in 2006, created the month-long recognition of Virgin Islands history and history makers.

“Each March we have the opportunity to revisit our important and interesting local history,” Senator Gittens said. “I urge parents, teachers and our many culture bearers to take this opportunity to teach our children more about the Virgin Islands. Our historic records include many role models and important events and that, once shared, help instill a real sense of pride in our youth.”

Senator Gittens said that on behalf of the members of the 33rd Legislature and in recognition of Virgin Islands History Month that he is presenting all the Territory’s school libraries with copies of the Legislature’s Oath of Office Ceremony booklet.

The booklets provide biographical information on current senators, as well details on the functions and evolution of the local Government, and the history of the Capitol Building itself.

Historical background on our official Virgin Islands symbols such as our seal, flower, bird and flag is also included. “It is my hope that these booklets will be a useful resource for our students and teachers,” he said.

Members of the 33rd Legislature have recorded short biographical snapshots of important Virgin Islands history makers. These recordings will be shared during the month of March via LEGITTV.

Senator Gittens will highlight Rothschild Francis and Casper Holstein in his presentations.

The 33rd Legislature will also host a Transfer Day commemoration later this month, the Senate President said.

Transfer Day (March 31) is a legal Virgin Islands holiday commemorating the date in 1917 that the former Danish West Indies was transferred to the United States.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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