Vacation 2 USA
Travel & Tourism
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Northern Mariana Islands
Virgin Islands History
The Virgin Islands were originally inhabited by Arawak, Carib and Ciboney native American peoples.
Christopher Columbus encountered the islands and named them in 1493 during his second voyage. For the next few hundred years, control of the islands would switch between many European nations including Spain, Britain, the Netherlands, France, the Knights of Malta and Denmark.
The Danish West India Company settled Saint Thomas in 1672, Saint John in 1694, and purchased Saint Croix from France in 1733.
Denmark attempted to sell the islands to the US in the early 20th century, but a deal could not be reached. However, during World War, the US began to fear that the islands might be seized by Germany, and a deal was eventually negotiated whereby the United States purchased the islands for $25 million in 1917. United States citizenship was granted to the islands' inhabitants in 1927.
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