The name "Bahamas" comes from the Spanish baja mar meaning shallow sea.
ABOUT THE BAHAMAS
- The Bahamas is an archipelago (cluster of islands) of over 700 islands stretching over 258,998 square km in the western Atlantic Ocean.
- The Lucayan Indians were the original inhabitants: they lived throughout The Bahamas between 900 and 1500 A.D.
- 1492- Christopher Columbus (the first European visitor) made his first landfall in the New World on San Salvador (called Guanahani by the Lucayan Indians).
- 1717 - Bahamas become a British crown colony.
- 1783 - Spain cedes the Bahamas to Britain in accordance with the Treaty of Paris after briefly occupying the islands the previous year.
- 1834 - Emancipation of slaves.
- 1955 - Free trade area established in the town of Freeport, stimulating tourism and attracting off shore banking.
- 1964 - Bahamas granted internal autonomy.
- 1967 - Lynden Pindling becomes prime minister after his centrist Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) wins the islands' first legislative elections.
- 1973 - The Bahamas become independent on July 10th.