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Friday 24th May
Antigua and Barbuda Facts
The country of Antigua and Barbuda consists of the islands of Antigua, Barbuda and Redonda.

Antigua, Barbuda and Redonda belong to a group of islands known as the Leeward Islands. Other islands in the group include Anguilla, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, the British Virgin Islands, and the United States Virgin Islands.

The highest point in Antigua and Barbuda is Boggy Peak (402 m) on the island of Antigua.

Amerindian people from the American mainland were early settlers in Antigua and Barbuda.

Christopher Columbus, in the service of Spain, visited the islands in 1493.

Early European colonists of Antigua and Barbuda were from Spain, France and England.

Antigua and Barbuda became a British Colony in 1667.

Christopher Codrington started large scale plantations in Antigua in the 1680s.

Slaves were brought to the islands to work on the sugar and tobacco plantations.

Admiral Horatio Nelson developed British naval facilities at English Harbour in 1784.

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).

The uninhabited island of Redonda was an important source of phosphates (bird guano and aluminium phosphate). Removal of phosphates took place between 1869 and the beginning of the First World War.

Between 1871 and 1956 the islands of Antigua and Barbuda were administered as part of the Leeward Islands Federation.

Antigua and Barbuda was a member the Federation of the West Indies between 1958 and 1962.

In 1967 Antigua and Barbuda, together with the small island of Redonda, became a self-governing state within the British Commonwealth.

Antigua and Barbuda achieved full independence in 1981.

Vere Cornwall Bird was a famous leader of the labour movement in Antigua and Barbuda in the 1940s.

Bird became the first Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda.

The Head of State of Antigua and Barbuda is the British monarch, represented by a Governor General.

Antigua and Barbuda was one of the Caribbean islands which gave support to the US invasion of Grenada (1983).

Hurricanes which have caused damage in Antigua and Barbuda include Hurricane Luis (1995) and Hurricane Jose (1999).

The Stanford Financial Group came under US investigation in early 2009. Stanford International Bank, with headquarters in Saint John's, went into receivership.

In 2017 the island of Barbuda suffered considerable damage and destruction from Hurricane Irma.

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