EtymologyThe islands were named "Santa Úrsula y las Once Mil Vírgenes" by in 1493 after the legend of and the 11,000 virgins. The name was later shortened to "the Virgin Islands".
Pre-European contactThe U.S. Virgin Islands were originally inhabited by the and s, with some scholars thinking that the islands were inhabited from as early as 1000 BC. The Caribs arrived circa 1500 AD. Christopher Columbus, on his second voyage in 1493, is thought to have been the first European to see the islands, giving them their current name. The Spanish later settled in 1555, with English and French settlers arriving on St. Croix from 1625. There followed a complex period in which the islands were disputed between Spain, France, Britain and also the Netherlands.
Danish periodDenmark-Norway also took an interest in the islands, and the settled on St. Thomas in 1672 and St. John in 1694, later purchasing St. Croix from France in 1733. The islands became royal Danish colonies in 1754, named the Danish West Indian Islands ( da, De dansk-vestindiske øer). Initially the currency was the , replaced by the in 1849. The islands proved ideal for sugar plantations: , produced by from Africa, drove the islands' economy during the 18th and early 19th centuries. Other plantation crops included and . During the 17th–18th centuries, a sizable Jewish community also began to settle on the islands. In 1733, St. John was the site of one of the first significant slave rebellions in the New World when – slaves from the Gold Coast (modern ) took over the island for six months. The Danish were able to defeat the enslaved Africans with help from the French in . Instead of allowing themselves to be recaptured, more than a dozen of the ringleaders shot themselves before the French forces could capture them. It is estimated that by 1775, slaves outnumbered the Danish settlers by a ratio of 8:1. After another slave rebellion occurred on Saint Croix, slavery was abolished by governor on July 3, 1848, now celebrated as . Over the following years, strict labor laws were implemented several times, leading to the 1878 St. Croix labor riot. With the plantations no longer as profitable, Danish settlers began to abandon their estates, causing a significant drop in population and the overall economy. Additionally, the 1867 hurricane and earthquake and tsunami further impacted the economy. For the remainder of the period of Danish rule, the islands were not economically viable and significant transfers had to be made from the Danish state budget to the authorities in the islands. The United States began to take an interest in the islands, and in 1867, a treaty to sell St. Thomas and St. John to the U.S. was agreed but never effected.A Brief History of the Danish West Indies, 1666–1917
American periodThe United States took possession of the islands on March 31, 1917, and the territory was renamed the "Virgin Islands of the United States". Every year, is recognized as a holiday, to commemorate the acquisition of the islands by the United States.Transfer Day
GeographyThe U.S. Virgin Islands are in the Atlantic Ocean, about east of and immediately west of the . They share the Virgin Islands Archipelago with the Puerto Rican Virgin Islands of and Culebra (administered by ), and the British Virgin Islands. The territory consists of three main islands: St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix, as well as several dozen smaller islands. The main islands have nicknames often used by locals: "Twin City" (St. Croix), "Rock City" (St. Thomas), and "Love City" (St. John). The combined land area of the islands is roughly twice the size of The U.S. Virgin Islands are known for their white sand beaches, including and Trunk Bay, and deepwater harbors along the Anegada Passage, including Charlotte Amalie (the capital) and . Like most Caribbean islands, most of the islands of the Virgin Islands, including St. Thomas and St. John, are volcanic in origin and hilly. The highest point is Crown Mountain on St. Thomas at . St. Croix, the largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands, lies to the south and has a flatter terrain due to being coral in origin. The manages more than half of St. John, nearly all of Hassel Island, and many acres of . There are several national park sites, such as the , , , , and . The U.S. Virgin Islands lie on the boundary of the and the . Natural hazards include s, s and tsunamis. The U.S. Virgin Islands contain the Leeward Islands moist forests and Leeward Islands xeric scrub terrestrial ecoregions.
ClimateThe United States Virgin Islands enjoy a , with little seasonal change throughout the year. Rainfall is concentrated in the high sun period (May through October), while in the winter the northeast prevail. Summer and winter high temperatures differ by or less on average.
Politics and governmentThe U.S. Virgin Islands are an organized, unincorporated United States territory. Although those born on the islands are U.S. citizens, U.S. Virgin Islanders residing in the territory are ineligible to vote for the . People born in the U.S. Virgin Islands derive their U.S. citizenship from congressional statute. The U.S. Democratic and Republican parties allow U.S. Virgin Islands citizens to vote in their presidential primary elections for delegates to the respective national conventions. The main political parties in the U.S. Virgin Islands themselves are the , the Independent Citizens Movement, and the Republican Party of the Virgin Islands. Additional candidates run as independents. At the national level, the U.S. Virgin Islands elect a delegate to Congress from their . The elected delegate, while able to vote in committee, cannot participate in floor votes. The current House of Representatives delegate is , a Democrat. Like other territories, the U.S. Virgin Islands does not have U.S. senators. At the territorial level, fifteen senators—seven from the district of St. Croix, seven from the district of St. Thomas and St. John, and one senator at-large who must be a resident of St. John—are elected for two-year terms to the Unicameralism, unicameral Legislature of the Virgin Islands, Virgin Islands Legislature. There is no limit as to the number of terms they can serve. The U.S. Virgin Islands have elected a List of United States Virgin Islands Governors, territorial governor every four years since 1970. Previous governors were appointed by the president of the United States.
Legal systemThe U.S. Virgin Islands have a United States Virgin Islands Superior Court, Superior Court and United States Virgin Islands Supreme Court, Supreme Court. The District Court of the Virgin Islands is responsible for cases brought under Law of the United States#Federal law, federal law, and the U.S. Attorney for the District of the Virgin Islands can bring federal criminal cases there. The Superior Court is responsible for hearing cases under U.S. Virgin Islands law at the trial level and the Supreme Court is responsible for appeals from the Superior Court for all appeals filed on or after January 29, 2007. (Appeals filed prior to that date were heard by the Appellate Division of the District Court.) Appeals from the federal District Court are heard by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. District Court judges are appointed by the U.S. president, while Superior Court and Supreme Court judges are appointed by the governor. As of 2019, the USVI courts apply both American common law and the 2019 US Virgin Islands Code as passed by the Legislature of the Virgin Islands, territorial legislature. Law of the United States#Federal law, U.S. federal law Because the USVI are not a state and Congress has not determined otherwise, the federal district court is an Federal tribunals in the United States#Article IV tribunals, Article IV tribunal, subject to the authority of the United States Secretary of the Interior and without lifetime appointment for judges. Elements of Dutch law have all been repealed, except for two 1914 laws having to do with customs and ship duties for St. Thomas and St. John.
ConstitutionOn October 21, 1976, President Gerald Ford signed authorizing the people of the United States Virgin Islands to organize a government pursuant to a constitution, which would be automatically approved if Congress did not act within 60 days. In 2004, an Act was passed by the legislature of the Virgin Islands calling for a fifth constitutional convention, and 30 delegates to the convention were elected in 2007. On May 26, 2009, the convention adopted a proposed Constitution of the Virgin Islands. However, in June 2009, Governor John de Jongh, John de Jongh, Jr. rejected the resulting constitutional draft, saying the terms of the document would "violate federal law, fail to defer to federal sovereignty and disregard basic civil rights". A lawsuit filed by members of the Convention to force Governor de Jongh to forward the document to President Barack Obama was ultimately successful. President Obama forwarded the proposal to Congress in May 2010, along with a report noting concerns raised by the United States Department of Justice that the powers sought exceeded what would be considered allowable under territorial status and restating the issues noted by Governor de Jongh. A U.S. Congressional resolution disapproving of the proposed constitution and requesting that the Fifth Constitutional Convention reconvene to consider changes to address these issues was signed into law by President Obama on June 30, 2010. Months later, a federal lawsuit was filed in the federal District Court of the Virgin Islands. The lawsuit claimed that the United States had to provide U.S. Virgin Islanders with the ability to be represented in Congress and vote for U.S. president. It alleged that racial discrimination present in an all-white and segregated U.S. Congress of 1917 was the impetus to deny the right to vote to a majority non-white constituency. The case was ultimately dismissed on August 16, 2012. The Fifth Constitutional Convention of the U.S. Virgin Islands met in October 2012 but was not able to produce a revised Constitution before its October 31 deadline. On November 3, 2020, the Virgin Islands held a referendum on whether or not to convene a sixth constitutional convention. The proposal was 2020 United States Virgin Islands constitutional convention referendum, approved with nearly 72% voting in favor.
Administrative divisionsAdministratively, the U.S. Virgin Islands are Districts and sub-districts of the United States Virgin Islands, divided into two districts: the Saint Thomas and Saint John district, and the Saint Croix district. However, the U.S. Census Bureau divides each of the 3 main islands into 3 separate statistical entities (which are further divided into twenty sub-districts). Below is the U.S. Census Bureau's division model. Each of the three main islands of the U.S. Virgin Islands is counted as a County (United States), county-equivalent by the U.S. Census Bureau, with the following FIPS codes: 78010 for Saint Croix, 78020 for Saint John, and 78030 for Saint Thomas. While a Danish possession, the Islands were divided into "quarters" (five on St. John and nine on St. Croix) which were further divided into many dozens of "estates". Estate names are still used to write addresses; estates and quarters are used in describing real estate, especially on St. John and St. Croix. More densely populated towns such as Frederiksted and Christiansted on St. Croix were historically referred to as "districts", in contrast to the surrounding plantation land.
Self-determinationA 1993 United States Virgin Islands status referendum, 1993 referendum on status attracted only 31.4% turnout, and so its results (in favor of the status quo) were considered void. No further status referenda have been scheduled since. The territory is classified by the United Nations as a United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories, non-self-governing territory. In 2016, the United Nations' Special Committee on Decolonization recommended to the UN's General Assembly that this larger body should "actively pursue a public awareness campaign aimed at assisting the people of the United States Virgin Islands with their inalienable right to self-determination and in gaining a better understanding of the options for self-determination".
Governors of the U.S. Virgin Islands
Law enforcementLaw enforcement services are provided by the United States Virgin Islands Police Department (USVIPD).
MilitaryDefense is the responsibility of the United States. There are some military facilities and personnel on the islands, supported by the U.S. government: *United States Army Reserve *Virgin Islands National Guard **Virgin Islands Air National Guard — stationed at St. Croix ANGS **Virgin Islands Army National Guard — stationed at St. Croix ANGS **Lionel A. Jackson Readiness Center — shared facility for Army and Air units Although a public airport, Henry E. Rohlsen Airport has serviced aircraft from the United States Air Force, as well as the United States Army.
EconomyTourism is the Islands' biggest industry; with 2.5–3 million annual visitors, the sector is responsible for about 60% of the GDP. Other major sectors are the public sector, some limited agriculture, and small scale manufacturing, most notably rum production. A 2012 economic report from the U.S. Census Bureau indicated a total of 2,414 business establishments generating $6.8 billion in sales, employing 32,465 people and paying $1.1 billion in payroll per year. Between 2007 and 2012, sales declined by $12.6 billion, or 64.9 percent. (In 2007, total sales were $19.5 billion and the number employed was 35,300.) According to a report on the first half of 2016 by the VI Bureau of Economic Research, the unemployment rate was 11.5 percent. In May 2016 the islands' Bureau of Economic Research indicated that there were 37,613 non-agricultural wage and salary jobs in the islands. This report states that the "leisure and hospitality sector" employed an average of 7,333 people. The retail trade sector, which also serves many tourists, averaged another 5,913 jobs. Other categories which also include some tourism jobs include arts and entertainment (792 jobs), accommodation and food (6,541 jobs), accommodation (3,755 jobs), and food services and drink (2,766 jobs). A large percentage of the 37,613 non-farm workers are employed in dealing with tourists. Serving the local population is also part of the role of these sectors. In a May 2016 report, some 11,000 people were categorized as being involved in some aspect of agriculture in the first half of 2016, but this category makes up a small part of the total economy. At that time, there were approximately 607 manufacturing jobs and 1,487 natural resource and construction jobs. The single largest employer was the government. In mid-February 2017, the USVI was facing a financial crisis due to a very high debt level of $2 billion and a structural budget deficit of $110 million. Since January 2017, the U.S. Virgin Islands government has been unable to raise financing from the bond market at favorable interest rates, and as of June 2019 have not issued any new bonds since then.
Personal incomeThe median income for a household in the territory was $24,704, and the median income for a family was $28,553 according to the 2010 census. Males had a median income of $28,309 versus $22,601 for females. The per capita income for the territory was $13,139. The average private sector salary was $34,088 and the average public sector salary was $52,572. About 28.7% of families and 32.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 41.7% of those less than 18 years old and 29.8% of those 65 or more years old. Nearly 70% of adults had at least a high school diploma and 19.2% had a bachelor's degree or higher.
Financial challengesAnalysts reviewing the economy often point to the closure of the HOVENSA oil refinery, the islands' largest private sector employer, in early 2012 as having a major negative impact on the territory's economy. In late 2013, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Research and Statistics Group pointed out that manufacturing employment dropped by 50% in May 2012 and by another 4% by November 2012, and that the GDP fell by 13%, "mainly due to an 80% drop-off in exports (mostly refined petroleum)". On the other hand, tourism and some other service industries were growing. As well, the 2010 census indicated that a relatively high share of the adult population is in the labor force: 66%, versus 65% on the mainland and well below 50% in Puerto Rico. A May 2016 report by Bloomberg expressed concern about the islands' tax-supported debt load. By January 23, 2017, this had increased to $2 billion. That translated to a per capita debt of $19,000, which was higher than the per capita debt in Puerto Rico which was undergoing a severe financial crisis at the time. A Debtwire analyst writing in ''Forbes'' indicated that nothing short of a miracle would prevent a financial collapse. Another area of concern was the structural budget deficit which was at $110 million in mid February 2017. The government instituted a new law in March 2017 with new or increased taxes on rum, beer, tobacco products and sugary drinks, as well as internet purchases and timeshare unit owners.
TourismTourism, trade, and other service-oriented industries are the primary economic activities, accounting for nearly 60% of the GDP. Approximately 2.5 million tourists per year visit, most arriving on cruise ships. Such visitors do not spend large amounts of money ($146.70 each on average) but as a group, they contributed $339.8 million to the economy in 2012. However, the tourism industry warned in late 2014. The territory's commissioner of tourism stated that work needs to be done for USVI tourism practices to meet 21st century demands. Additionally, the islands frequently are a starting point for private yacht charters to the neighboring . Euromonitor indicates that over 50% of the workforce is employed in some tourism-related work.
Other sectorsThe manufacturing sector consists of mainly rum Distillation, distilling. The agricultural sector is small, with most food being imported. International business and financial services are a small but growing component of the economy. Most energy is also generated from imported oil, leading to electricity costs four to five times higher than the U.S. mainland. The Virgin Islands were the highest oil consumers per capita in the world in 2007. The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority also uses imported energy to operate its desalination facilities to provide fresh water.
GovernmentThe ''CIA World Factbook'' lists the value of federal programs and grants — $241.4 million in 2013, 19.7% of the territory's total revenues — and that "the economy remains relatively diversified. Along with the tourist industry, it appears that rum exports, trade, and services will be major income sources in future years".
Tax and tradeThe U.S. Virgin Islands are an independent customs territory from the mainland United States and operate largely as a free port. U.S. citizens thus do not have to clear customs when arriving in the U.S. Virgin Islands, but do when traveling to the mainland. Local residents are not subject to US federal income taxes on U.S. Virgin Islands source income; they pay taxes to the territory equal to what their federal taxes would be if they lived in a state.
Transport and communicationsThe Henry E. Rohlsen International Airport serves St. Croix and the Cyril E. King Airport serves St. Thomas and St. John. The U.S. Virgin Islands is the only U.S. jurisdiction that drives on the left. This was inherited from what was then-current practice on the islands at the time of the 1917 transfer of the territory to the United States from Denmark. However, because most cars in the territory are imported from the mainland United States, the cars in the territory are left-hand drive. However, not all U.S. vehicle regulations are in force, and there are vehicles on the road that cannot be sold in the mainland U.S. Additionally, headlights use the U.S. pattern which casts light to the right, tending to blind oncoming drivers. Traffic signals are located on the opposite side of the road than they are in the U.S. mainland, and many standard road signs have been altered to fit the left-side driving. Mail service is handled by the United States Postal Service, using the two-character state code "VI" for domestic mail delivery. ZIP codes are in the 008xx range. , specifically assigned codes include 00801–00805 (St Thomas), 00820–00824 (Christiansted), 00830–00831 (St. John), 00840–00841 (Frederiksted), and 00850–00851 (Kingshill). The islands are part of the North American Numbering Plan, using area code 340, and island residents and visitors are able to call most Toll-free telephone number, toll-free U.S. numbers. The U.S. Virgin Islands are located in the Atlantic Standard Time zone and do not participate in daylight saving time. When the mainland United States is on standard time, the U.S. Virgin Islands are one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time. When the mainland United States is on daylight saving time, Eastern Daylight Time is the same as Atlantic Standard Time.
DemographicsIn 2010, the census put the population of the U.S. Virgin Islands at 106,405. Current estimates put the population at 105,870 (2021). In 2010 there were 40,648 households, and 26,636 families. In 2010, there were 40,648 households, out of which 34.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 33.2% were married couples living together, 24.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.5% were non-families. 30.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.34. In the territory, the population in 2010 was distributed with 31.6% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 27.1% from 25 to 44, 24.9% from 45 to 64, and 8.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.4 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and up, there were 87.7 males. The annual population growth is −0.12%. The literacy rate for the adult population was 94.9% in 2010.
Ethnic groupsThe racial makeup of the U.S. Virgin Islands was: *Black or Afro-Caribbean people, Afro-Caribbean: 76.0% (66.1% Non-Hispanic Black) *White people, White: 15.7% (13.5% Non-Hispanic Whites) *Asian: 1.4% *Mixed: 2.1% *Other: 4.5% *Latin America, Hispanic or Latino of any race: 17.4% (10.3% Puerto Rican people, Puerto Rican, 5.4% People of the Dominican Republic, Dominican) Many residents can trace their ancestry to other Caribbean islands, especially Puerto Rico and the . The territory is largely Afro-Caribbean in origin.
LanguagesEnglish is the dominant language. Spanish is spoken by about 17% of the population, and other languages by 11%. English has been the predominant language since 1917, when the islands were transferred from Denmark to the United States. Under Danish rule, the official language was Danish language, Danish, but it was solely the language of administration and spoken by Danes, a tiny minority of the overall population that primarily occupied administrative roles in colonial Danish West Indian society. Place names and surnames of Denmark–Norway origin are still common. Although the U.S. Virgin Islands was a Danish possession during most of its colonial history, Danish language, Danish never was a spoken language among the populace, black or non-Danish white, as the majority of plantation and slave owners were of Dutch people, Dutch, English people, English, Scottish people, Scottish, Irish people, Irish, or Spanish people, Spanish descent. Even during Danish ownership, Dutch, another germanic languages, Germanic language like Danish, was more common, at least during some of those 245 years, specifically on St. Thomas and St. John, where the majority of the European settlers are Dutch. In St. Croix, English was the dominant language. St. Croix was owned by the French until 1733 when the island was sold to the Danish West Indian and Guinea Company. By 1741, there were five times as many English on the island as Danes. English Creole emerged on St. Croix more so than Dutch Creole, which was more popular on St. Thomas and St. John. Other languages spoken in the Danish West Indies included Irish, Scots, Spanish, and French, as well as Virgin Islands English Creole. Virgin Islands Creole, Virgin Islands Creole English, an English-based creole locally known as "dialect", is spoken in informal situations. The form of Virgin Islands Creole spoken on St. Croix, known as ''Crucian'', is slightly different from that spoken on St. Thomas and St. John. Because the U.S. Virgin Islands are home to thousands of immigrants from across the Caribbean, Spanish language, Spanish and various French-based creole languages, French creole languages are also widely spoken. Spanish is mostly spoken by Puerto Ricans; Puerto Rican migration was prevalent in the 1930s, 40s and 50s, when many Puerto Ricans relocated to Saint Croix for work after the collapse of the sugar industry. In addition, the U.S. Navy purchase of two-thirds of the nearby Puerto Rican island of Vieques during World War II resulted in the displacement of thousands of ''Viequenses'', many of whom relocated to Saint Croix because of its similar size and geography. Puerto Ricans in Saint Croix, most of whom have lived on the island for more than a generation, have kept their culture alive while integrating it into the native Crucian culture and society. For example, in informal situations, many Puerto Ricans in Saint Croix speak a unique Spanglish-like combination of Puerto Rican Spanish and the local Crucian dialect of creole English. As of the 2000 census, 25.3% of persons over the age of five speak a language other than English at home. Spanish is spoken by 16.8% of the population and French is spoken by 6.6%.
ReligionChristianity is the dominant religion in the U.S. Virgin Islands. According to Pew Research Center, 94.8% of the population was Christian in 2010. The largest Christian denominations in the 2010 census were Baptist, Roman Catholic, and Episcopalian. Owing to both their Danish past and American present, Protestantism on the islands has long been widespread. It was first introduced when Lutheranism was brought to the islands in the Danish colonization. The Danish crown also allowed other religious traditions on the islands including Anglicanism, Roman Catholicism, the Moravian Church and other Protestant groups.Kenneth Scott Latourette, ''Christianity in a Revolutionary Age, III: The Nineteenth Century Outside Europe: The Americas, the Pacific, Asia and Africa.'' (1961) pp 278–79 Historically, St. Thomas and St. Croix are known for missionary efforts undertaken by the Moravian missionaries. They were allowed on the islands by the Danish royal court, but came under scrutiny when they denounced slavery. A number of neo-Protestant traditions including Pentecostalism, various evangelical Protestants and the Seventh-day Adventists arrived later with the switch of allegiance from Denmark to the United States. There is also a strong Roman Catholic presence. Rastafari is also prevalent. St. Thomas is home to one of the oldest Jewish communities in the Western Hemisphere, as Sephardi Jews began to settle the island in the 18th century as traders and merchants. The St. Thomas Synagogue in Charlotte Amalie is the second-oldest synagogue on American soil, and oldest in terms of continuous usage.
HealthIn 2010, the national average life expectancy was 79.61 years. It was 76.57 years for men and 82.83 for women.
EducationThe Virgin Islands Department of Education, United States Virgin Islands Department of Education serves as the territory's education agency, and has two school districts: St. Thomas-St. John School District and St. Croix School District. The University of the Virgin Islands provides higher education leading to associate's, bachelor's, and master's degrees, with campuses on St. Thomas and St. Croix.
CultureThe culture of the Virgin Islands reflects the various people that have inhabited the present-day U.S. Virgin Islands and , which despite their political separation have kept close cultural ties. The culture derives chiefly from West African, European and United States, American traditions, in addition to the influences from the immigrants from the Arab world, India and other Caribbean islands. The islands were strongly influenced by the British, Dutch, French and Danish during the long periods the islands were under these powers.
MediaThe islands have a number of AM and FM radio stations (mostly on St. Thomas and St. Croix) broadcasting music, religious, and news programming. (See List of radio stations in US Territories.) Full- and low-power television stations are split between St. Thomas and St. Croix. (See List of television stations in the U.S. Virgin Islands.) Newspapers include: *''The Avis'', printed daily on St. Croix *''The Virgin Islands Daily News'', printed daily on St. Thomas *''St. John Tradewinds'', distributed weekly on St. John *''St. Thomas – St. John This Week'' (online only) *''St. Thomas Source'' (online only) *''St. Croix Source'' (online only) *''St. John On Island Times'', news and information on St. John, USVI
LibrariesSoon after becoming a US Territory in 1917, the first public library was formally accepted as a gift from the Junior Red Cross. The St. Thomas Library opened in December 1920. The library occupied rented quarters and frequently moved. The Carnegie Corporation of New York provided grant funding from 1929 through 1933 to the US Virgin Islands for the development of library services by sending librarians, funding for books, and training for the supervising librarian. An early and enduring pioneer for libraries in the Virgin Islands was Enid M. Baa. Ms. Baa was one of the four first high school graduates in St. Thomas and participated in the establishment of the first high school library. Soon after her graduation, Ms. Baa was selected by the Carnegie Foundation and Governor Pearson for a scholarship as a special student to the Graduate Library School at Hampton Institute. After graduating from the program in 1933, Ms. Baa returned to the Virgin Islands to be appointed by Governor Pearson as Supervising Librarian for the Virgin Islands. She was the first woman to hold a cabinet-level office in the Virgin Islands government. In 1943, Ms. Baa returned to the US to complete her studies at Columbia University and worked in the library field in the US. Among the positions she held include Head of Serial Cataloging Section at the United Nations Library and Specialist in Cataloging of Spanish or Portuguese materials at the New York Public Library. In 1954, Ms. Baa was appointed Director of Libraries and Museums under Governor Archibald Alexander. She received the John Jay Whitney Foundation Fellowship in 1955 on the basis of her contribution to the preservation of the Sephardic Jewish Records of the Virgin Islands and the re-indexing of these records in a card file. The family records of US Senator Judah P. Benjamin, artist Camille Pissarro, medical pioneer Jacob Da Costa, and others can be found in the documents. The US Virgin Islands Public Library System currently consists of five libraries. Three in St. Croix: Athalie McFarlane Peterson Public Library in Frederiksted, and the Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped and the Florence Augusta Williams Public Library, both in Christiansted. One in St. John, Elaine Ione Sprauve Public Library and Museum of Cultural Arts in Cruz Bay. While St. Thomas has two: Charles Wesley Turnbull Regional Public Library in Estate Tutu and Enid M. Baa Public Library and Archives in Charlotte Amalie, the Enid M. Baa Library is currently closed to the public and used for administrative purposes. The US Virgin Island Public Library System is administered by the USVI Department of Planning and Natural Resources’ Division of Libraries, Archives, and Museums. The US Virgin Islands Public Library System provides free reader services to adults, children, young adults, and seniors. Collections include: adult fiction and non-fiction; children’s fiction and non-fiction; reference materials, magazines, daily newspapers, and DVDs. The library system also houses original and microfilm collections of Virgin Islands Archives, records, newspapers and other materials. The Virgin Islands Automated Library System provides a database and computerized support network for books, reading materials and patron records for the library and archives collections. The viNGN Public Computer Centers provide patrons with free access to high-speed connections to access the Internet and the World Wide Web.
Public holidays*January 1: New Year's Day *January 6: Three Kings Day *January (third Monday): Martin Luther King, Jr. Day *February (third Monday): Presidents' Day *March 31: (celebrates the transfer of the islands from Denmark to the US) *March–April: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Monday *May (fourth Monday): Memorial Day *July 3: *July 4: U.S. Independence Day *September (first Monday): Labor Day *October (second Monday): Virgin Islands–Puerto Rico Friendship Day/Columbus Day *November 1: D. Hamilton Jackson Day (also known as "Liberty Day", or "Bull and Bread Day") *November 11: Veterans Day *November (fourth Thursday): Thanksgiving Day *December 25: Christmas *December 26: Christmas Second Day (also known as "Boxing Day") Virgin Islands government employees are also given administrative leave for St. Croix Caribbean Carnival, carnival events in January and St. Thomas carnival events in April/May.
SportsBasketball is one of the popular sports in the Virgin Islands. There is currently one player in the NBA from the Virgin Islands, 2019 NBA Draft pick Nicolas Claxton, who plays for the Brooklyn Nets. Retired five-time NBA champion Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs also is a native of the Virgin Islands. In cricket, Virgin Islanders are eligible to compete internationally as part of the West Indies cricket team, West Indies. The most recent Virgin Islander to be named to the West Indies squad is Hayden Walsh Jr., who was born in St. Croix. In regional Caribbean competitions, Virgin Islanders compete in List A and first-class cricket as part of the Leeward Islands cricket team. Currently, the Virgin Islands are not represented in Caribbean Twenty20 leagues.
See also* Outline of the United States Virgin Islands * Index of United States Virgin Islands-related articles * Bibliography of the United States Virgin Islands