In 1903: Wright Brothers made their first flight.

In 1904: U.S. takes over the construction of the Panama Canal.

In 1917: The group of islands now known as the Virgin Islands was bought for an amazing 25 million dollars worth of gold (some of it probably stolen from Africa at some point in the preceding history; America profited greatly from Slavery. The islands were governed by the U.S. Naval officers from 1917 until 931, and governors were appointed by the president of the U.S. up until 1970 under the jurisdiction of the United States Dept. of  the Interior.


t;Naval Rule Era

Naval Administrators governed the islands


1917-1919: James Harrison Oliver; Rear Admiral of the U.S. Navy administered the



1920-1921: Joseph Wallace Oman; Rear Admiral of the U.S. Navy…


1921-1922: Sumner Ely Wetmore Kittelle; Rear Admiral of the U.S. Navy…


1922-1923: Henry Hughs Hough; Captain of the U.S. Navy…


1923-1925: Phillip Williams; Captain of the U.S. Navy…


1925-1927: Martin Edward Trench; Captain of the U.S. Navy…


1927-1931: Waldo Evans; Captain of the U.S. Navy…



In 1924: Hurricane

In 1927:U.S. citizenship was granted to Virgin Islanders. During the intervening

;ten years before they were made citizens Virgin Islanders were considered

subjects of the United States.


In 1927 -1947: Arthur Fairchild created an arboretum on Magens

Bay Beach. He brought flowers and herbs from different parts of the

world and cultivated them on the beach. In 1946 he donated the beach

property and surrounding perimeter to the government with a contractual

stipulation protecting it by prohibiting the building of hotels and homes

in the area.


In 1930: Daily News was established as the local paper in St. Thomas was founded by

Ariel Melchoir.


In 1931: The end of Naval rule.


Civilian Rule Era

Governors appointed by the U.S. Dept. of the Interior


In 1931-1935: The first appointed Governor; Paul M. Pearson, was born on Oct.22,

1871. Paul M. Pearson (a Quaker) was appointed by the President of the

United States as the first civilian governor he tried to revive the economy

by creating a commercial hospitality industry. He spearheaded the Blue

Beards Castle Hotel establishment, one of the founders of the Caribbean

tourism industry he died March 27, 1938…


In 1932: Malaria epidemic


In 1934: Blue Beards Castle Hotel, the first hotel in St. Thomas, was established.



1935-1941: The second appointed Governor; Lawrence W. Cramer, was born on Dec.

26, 1897 and died Oct.18, 1978…


In 1936: The name of the capital was changed in spelling from Charlotte Amalia to

Charlotte Amalie. Women received their rightful freedom to vote and be

counted as a democracy should allow.


*In 1939: _______ Submarine Base was established.


*In 1939: The Organic Act was passed by Congress this allowed the people to create

their own constitution, supreme court, and also created their judicial, territorial

court, and legislative bodies of government. A self defining Moment in history

marked the day when the Organic Act which was passed in 1939 by the U.S.

and subsequently revised in 1954 set the stage for the Virgin Islands people to

define themselves. Stimulated by the need to have a supreme court to hear and

decide over cases autonomously and be more self ruling, efficient and

independent. Cases such as the one which challenged the right for them to

have safaris (a modified truck flatbed made into a carriage with parallel seats

with an open air design and a covering over head for protection from sun and

rain. An idea which originated in St. John (saint John 19.5 square miles) that

was developed for our own survival, ingenuity and resourcefulness, turns the

flat bed of a truck into a bus with several parallel seats and an opening on the

side of each chair for passengers to get in and out. Without a door to lock, or a

seat belt to prevent body propulsion in sudden stops or crashes this could seem

very dangerous, but we have a constitutional right to create such a vehicle

under the Organic Act. Where it may not be legal under U.S. safety laws, we

have different laws here that can allow us the right to have such a vehicle.

Everyday things such as these that people take for granted are rights that could

and were challenged. Sometimes by a people that these things don’t affect




In 1941: The Navy builds airport, roads, and housing.


1941-1946: The third appointed Governor; Charles Harwood, was born on May 14,

1880 and died on Oct.23, 1950, the Charles Harwood highway was named

after him…


*In 1945-47: The submarine base was closed after World War II.


In 1946: Magens Bay Beach was donated to the Virgin Islands government by Arthur

Fairchild, a contractual stipulation prohibiting the building of homes or hotels

around the perimeter of the beach was arranged by Arthur Fairchild the owner

of Magens Bay.



1946-1949: The forth appointed Governor; William Henry Hustie, was born Nov.17,

1904 and died April 21, 1976…


1948: Harry Truman desegregated the U.S. military the St. Thomas airport was named

after him up until the 1980’s when it was then changed to Cyril E. King Airport.


1952: The very first Carnival Parade was held.


1950-1954: The fifth appointed Governor; Morris Fidanque DeCastro was the first

native born Governor.


In 1954: The Organic Act was revised and expanded. In essence it set the stage for the

people of the Virgin Islands to govern themselves. It created our legislative,

judicial and our territorial court and also had provisions for us to create a

supreme court. These provisions allowed us to be more autonomous in our

government. In these times (ca. 2008) some people feel that it needs more




1954-1955: The sixth appointed governor; Arcihbald Alphonso Alexander, was born

May 14, 1888 and died Jan. 4, 1958. Archibald was appointed at a very

mature age.


1956: Laurance S. Rockefeller the conservationist purchases and later donates 5000

acres (approximately 3/5of the island) to the V.I. National Park Service.


1955-1958: The seventh appointed Governor; Walter Arthur Gordon was born on

Oct.10, 1894 and died April 2, 1976 at the ripe age of 81.


In 1956: Laurance S. Rockefeller donates 5000 acres of his land in St. John to the V.I.

Park Service. It is today federal land and is undisturbed beauty. The Virgin

Islands National Park was established in St. John V.I.



1958-1961: The eighth appointed Governor; John David Merwin was first native born

administrator of the Virgin Islands, a sign of things to come. He was born on

Sept.26, 1921.


1961-1969: The ninth appointed Governor; Ralph M. Paiewonsky was born on Nov.9,

1907 and died on his birthday on Nov.9, 1991…

King was appointed as Government Secretary by John F. Kennedy. This position was the equivalent of the Lieutenant Governors position today.


In 1962: The College of The Virgin Islands was established. It was the beginning of a

new era with this institution for higher learning being established.


In 1969: Melvin Evans was appointed as governor after the resignation Ralph M.

Paiewonsky was received by Richard Nixon. Cyril E. King was serving as

Government Secretary at the time; a position that was the equivalent to the Lt.

Governor position.


1969-1970: The ninth and last appointed Governor; Melvin Evans was appointed as

Governor after the early resignation of Ralph M. Paiewonsky. Something

very curious about his resignation, he was probably aware of the up coming

elections and the changes that were on the horizon. To save embarrassment

he was probably asked to resign.


Self Governorship Era

Term limited elected officials, a supreme court, and a constitution


In 1970: The people of the Virgin Islands elected their own governor under the Organic

Act, his name was Melvin Evans. Mr. Evans before being elected was an

appointed governor in the previous administration albeit one year.



1970-1974: The first elected Governor; Melvin Evans was elected by the people of the

Virgin Islands he was the first person to be elected by the people after 53

years under American rule. Melvin was born on August 7, 1917 and died on

Nov. 27, 1984. The time had come for the people to choose their own

administrator. Melvin Evans was supposed to be an easy choice because he

served the people in that position by appointment of the President

previously, but one the election in a runoff victory.


1972: A delegate to Congress is elected and became our voice in the U.S. House of

Representatives. Our delegate has no voting rights for President. Still, the right

and freedom to vote for president of the U.S. is not granted to the “American”

citizens of the Virgin Islands these are people who serve in the military and die

for their country, and was sent to war to die for a country that does not give

them the right to vote or impeach the person sending them to war.

The United States has work to do in making it a more equitable relationship,

With, justice, freedom and empowerment for all of its citizens.


1974: The College of the Virgin Islands become fully accredited.

 Cyril E. King was elected to office


1975: Second elected Governor; Cyril E. King, was born on St. Croix April 7th, 1921

and died January 2nd, 1978 before he was able to complete his term in office. He

started to work in office on January 6th.

 The College of The Virgin Islands became fully accredited.


 Cyril E. King worked his way up the ladder to become Senior Staff Member of Senator Humphreys office in the 1940’s and was the first African to serve in a U.S. senators office. He worked with Senator Humphrey for 12 years after being appointed in 1949. While in that position he acted as the Deputy of the Virgin Islands Legislature and helped to gain Congressional action to amend the Organic Act (the constitution of the Virgin Islands).


 Mr. King a brilliant man, Graduated from the American University in

Washington D.C. during the 1950’s with a Bachelor of Science degree

in Public Administration.


 Later on in his life he worked hard and received an Honorary doctor of Laws degree from Roger Williams College in the 70’s and was the first ever to be awarded the Hilbert Medal by Hilbert College for outstanding Humanitarian and public efforts on behalf of Virgin Islanders and United States residents alike.


 In 1961 he was appointed as Government Secretary by President Kennedy,


 In 1970 he ran governor of the V.I. and won the general election but lost in the run off count against Melvin Evans the incumbent.


 Cyril E. King received a United Caribbean Youth Award in 1968 (New York).


 He received many accolades and appointments in his lifetime most after he was appointed Government Secretary for the Virgin Islands by President John F. Kennedy.


 Cyril E. King died in 1978 before he was able to complete his term in office as governor. Juan Luis the lt. Governor held the seat until he ran for office and won.


In 1977: In this year began the long journey to world notoriety and acclaim for

David Montgumery Horsford, today known as Dawuud Najee-Ullah

Nyamekye, after changing his name in 2002 to undo what was done in slavery.

Dawuud was born to Lorna Glendora West (Horsford) and William Z. Horsford

on December 8, 1967, was crowned Prince of St. Thomas Carnival on the 25th

anniversary of their annual celebration. He later became a historian of African

and Caribbean History and developed comprehensive, entertaining, historical

tours in the Caribbean for Caribbean Historical He was a

consummate artist, a renaissance man acting on film and stage, painting,

singing, dancing... Dawuud was born on Antigua (Wadably) W.I. in English

Harbour a beautiful fishing and boating coastal community.


1977: Cyril E. King wrote a congratulatory letter to Dawuud N. Nyamekye; formerly

David M. Horsford after winning his victory as Prince of Carnival.


1978-1987: Third elected Governor; Juan Francisco Luis was born on July 10, 1940…


In 1979: This year saw two powerful hurricanes (David and Frederic) whispering of

things to come.


In 1984: A tropical storm (Klaus) hit.


In 1986: The College of The Virgin Islands was changed to: The University of The

Virgin Islands.


1987-1995: Fourth elected Governor; Alexander A. Farrelly was born on Dec.29,



In 1989: Hurricane Hugo hit St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John, and Water Island. The four

islands and many others in the Caribbean as well as the continental United

States were devastated. St. Thomas lost its power island wide and took months

for some areas to receive electricity. The idea to put the electric cables under

ground was discussed in political and social circles as a good alternative.



1995-1999: Fifth elected Governor, Dr. Roy Lester Schneider was born on May 13th,

1939. Dr. Schneider was a former Prince of Carnival in St. Thomas and as

governor pushed for the hospital to be named after him. An obvious affinity

for women of a lighter or white complexion he was viewed by many as being



In 1995: Yet another devastating Hurricane hit the island of St. Thomas and the island

was in shambles many people left the island. Hurricane Marilyn was

debatably more devastating than Hurricane Hugo, thanks to the resilience built

up from going through Hurricane Hugo the people somehow survived.

Hurricane Luis was in that same year.


In 1996: Water Island is formerly transferred to the Virgin Islands government for

governorship, after being previously managed by the U.S. Dept. of Interior

Water Island has a population of less than 300 people. The island has three

salt ponds, two gorgeous beaches.


 Hurricane Bertha hit.


In 1998: Our sixth elected Governor Charles W. Turnbull was elected as Governor.

 Hurricane Georges.


In 1999: Hurricane Lenny.



1999-2007: Sixth elected Governor; Charles W. Turnbull Ph.D. started his term in