Friday, 31 March 2017
Purchase of the United States Virgin Islands, 1917
A glimpse into the US Department of State archives reveals a complex and unedifying history of the US Virgin Islands. The simple statement that Denmark sold them to the US on 31st March 1917 conceals the fact that the States were virtually holding a gun to the Danes' heads. Denmark agreed to a transfer in a referendum, but the inhabitants of the islands were not consulted nor were they guaranteed the same protection from racial discrimination as they had enjoyed under the Danes. The islands were administered by the US Navy from 1917 to 1931.