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Chatting with Dr Leonard Richardson
62 minutes | Sep 2, 2017
Meet Kai Frett, A Coordinator of the Community Cleanup of Hassel Island
Saturday, Aug. 26, there was an overwhelming attendance of volunteers who turned out to help clean up Hassel Island. Families, couples, singles, young, old, it didn’t matter, everyone showed up in mass assembly. But what is the interest and importance of Hassel Island? To answer that, let’s look at its history. Hassel Island forms the western edge of St. Thomas’s harbor. The island is approximately 135 acres in area. The highest elevation on the island is the southern peak, at 267 feet. The National Park Service acquired about 95% of Hassel Island in 1978 and is working to preserve and interpret the island’s rich history. Three sites on the island are owned by the Virgin Islands Government, and there are 3 private in-holdings. Originally, Hassel Island was a peninsula. In the 1860s, the Danish government separated the land from mainland St. Thomas with the hopes of creating better water circulation in the harbor. The earliest documentation of the ownership of Hassel Island is under the name Estate Orkanshullet. This Danish name is translated to Hurricane Hole. Today, the island is named after James Hazzell, who purchased the land in 1784 and whose family maintained a presence on the land until the 20th century. There are many alternate spellings of the family name. Hassel Island is open for public visitation. Explore the website to learn about Hassel’s rich history, the many unique sites on the island, and the constant conservation, preservation, and interpretation efforts made by the National Park Service, the St. Thomas Historical Trust, and dedicated community members. Courtesy of the Virgin Islands National Park and the St. Thomas Historical Trust at www.HasselIsland.org/
62 minutes | Aug 19, 2017
Remembering Our Ancestors: Mr. Amadeo Estrill and Mr. Canada Lee
As children, both Dr. Leonard Richardson & I, Etienne A. Gibbs, knew Mr. Amadeo Estrill as the friendliest man on St. Thomas who wasn't shy to walk up to anyone and spark a friendly conversation after a greeting of "Good morning!" or "Good afternoon!". Everyone on Main Street in Downtown Charlotte Amalie knew Mr. Estrill by his unique features: painter's coverall, smile, laughter, friendliness, but most impressively, his colorful expletives! I have never known Mr. Estrill's expletives to be malicious or used in anger. My guess is that he suffered from what today psychiatry would refer to as Tourrete's Syndrome, a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary tics & vocalizations, often accompanied by the compulsive utterance of obscenities. Born on St. Thomas, Virgin Islands Nov 1, 1908, Mr. Estrill died of a stroke at the age 91, July 26, 2000, in Central Florida where relocated the year before. Mr. Canada Lee was born Leonard Lionel Cornelius Canegata March 3, 1907, in New York City. His father, James Cornelius Lionel Canegata, was born on St. Croix & migrated to New York. Raised by his parents in Harlem, Mr. Lee had an aptitude for music. He made his concert debut at age 11, performing a student recital at Aeolian Hall. But after 7 years of music studies, without explanation, he put away his violin & ran away from home. In 1921, aged 14, Mr. Lee went to Saratoga Springs, New York, & began a 2-year career as a jockey. Mr. Lee later starred in Welles's Broadway production of Native Son (1941). A champion of civil rights in the 1930s & 1940s, Mr. Lee was blacklisted & died shortly before he was scheduled to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Perhaps his most famous film role was in Alfred Hitchcock's movie, Lifeboat (1944).
62 minutes | Aug 12, 2017
Euell Nielsen, a Living Historian, Brings a New Perspective to VI History
Euell Aira Nielsen, a native of Sewell, New Jersey, recently relocated to St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. A living historian, Euell is the 3rd of 4 generations to be members at the First African Presbyterian Church (Philadelphia, PA), the nation's oldest African American Presbyterian congregation, founded by a former slave in 1807. Euell has operated several small businesses, to include, Herstories (historical portrayals), Twist This (balloon twisting), Island Treazures (handmade crafts) & Dimaje (photography). Her interests and hobbies include animals, reading & researching, spending time with family, traveling, riding her bike, photography (including underwater photography}, crafting, genealogy, & historical research. In March 2017, Euell received an award for her 62+ writings on African Americans for the website, Blackpast.org . Since then she has been featured in newspaper and magazine articles about her cemetery photography, military service and historical re-enacting. She is currently working on a manuscript about her past influential church members. Euell attended Freedom Theater, Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) & Community College of Philadelphia. A wife, mother of 3 boys, & grandmother to 3 girls, Euell is also a US Army Reserves Vet & the Chaplain for the 2016-2017 administration of Zeresh #103, Order of Eastern Star. Before relocating to St. Thomas, USVI, Euell took on the task of becoming a living historian, assuming the role of Patriot, Hannah Till, a former cook to George Washington, Lafayette, and their troops, and former member of First African Presbyterian Church. Visit Euell's historical works at: http://j.mp/2vFekGy
62 minutes | Aug 5, 2017
August Monday and Other Holidays in the British Virgin Islands
The most anticipated of national holidays are the 3 days of Festival in August (August Monday) that are set aside to commemorate the 1 August 1834 emancipation of African slaves. British Virgin Islands Emancipation Festival 28th July - 9th August 2017 = A celebration of their ancestors' freedom from colonialism & their cultural history. During that time, they showcase the culture & history of their people in grand style with extravaganzas of local & international music, pageants, Food Fairs, J'ouvert (early morning street jamming), parades, gospel celebrations, & folklore presentations. Visit the Virgin Islands Festival on Facebook to stay up to date on all the Festival Celebrations. The major national holidays in the British Virgin Islands: New Year's Day (1 January), Commonwealth Day (13 March), Sovereign's Birthday, Territory Day, Festival (the first Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday in August; a/k/a August Monday), Saint Ursula's Day (21 October), & Boxing Day (26 December). In November 2000, the Legislative Council replaced the holiday commemorating the birthday of the heir to the throne with a national holiday commemorating the birth of H. Lavity Stoutt (7 March). The most anticipated of national holidays are the 3 days of Festival in August (August Monday) that are set aside to commemorate the 1 August 1834 emancipation of African slaves. Festival is celebrated with beauty contests, calypso competitions, food fair, parades, public musical performances, dances, & family reunions. Religious holidays include Christmas, Good Friday, & Easter Monday. Read more: www.everyculture.com/Bo-Co/British-Virgin-Islands.html#ixzz4nK4wCG5B
61 minutes | Jul 1, 2017
St. John's Carnival Equals Emancipation Day Plus Independence Day
July 3rd, Emancipation Day (E-Day) in the US Virgin Islands, is public holiday commemorating abolition of slavery in the Danish West Indies in 1848. E-Day is celebrated in many former colonies on various dates to recognize the abolition of slavery, serfdom, or other forms of servitude. The Danish West India Company settled on part of the Virgin Islands archipelago, which is now known as the US Virgin Islands, in the 17th century. The trans-Atlantic slave trade to the archipelago began in 1673. Slaves mainly worked on sugarcane plantations. They were forced to work in difficult conditions and were treated inhumanely. This led to several large revolts, such as the 1733 slave insurrection on Saint John which lasted for 6 months. In 1835, Peter von Scholten became governor of the islands. He tried to lighten the burden of the slaves by permitting the private ownership and creating schools for them. When a non-violent [sic] slave revolt broke out on the island of Saint Croix in 1848, von Scholten decided to emancipate all slaves. Slavery on the Danish West Indian Islands was officially abolished on July 3, 1848. The anniversary of this event was declared a public holiday in the US Virgin Islands along with the Fourth of July when slaves in the United States were emancipated. E-Day is observed in many former European colonies in the Caribbean and areas of the United States on various dates to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved people of African descent. It is also observed in other areas in regard to the abolition of serfdom or other forms of servitude. Courtesy in part by: https://anydayguide.com/calendar/2177 and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emancipation_Day
59 minutes | Jun 24, 2017
It's Carnival (Festival) Time on St. John, US Virgin Islands, Baby!
The St. John Festival is a month-long event that starts with steel pan performances & pageants, then builds up to the week of July 3rd (Emancipation Day) and the 4th (Independence Day). That final week is party time with the big events: the Village, the Food Fair, & the Parade. Carnival is the biggest annual event in the Virgin Islands & throughout the Caribbean. In the US Virgin Islands: VI Carnival on St. Thomas in April/May; the St. John Festival in June/July; & St. Croix’s Crucian Christmas Carnival in Dec./Jan. In the British Virgin Islands: the BVI Emancipation Festival on Tortola in July/Aug. & the Virgin Gorda Easter Festival in April. Here's an abbreviated calendar of the fore coming events: 18 June: The FESTIVAL PRINCESS PAGEANT at 6:00 pm Winston Wells Ball Field 24 June: Festival Queen Pageant at 8:00 pm Winston Wells Ball Field 25 June: Festival Food Fair & Coronation at 1:00 pm Franklin A. Powell, Sr. Park 25 June: Festival Boat Races at 3:00 pm Cruz Bay Harbor 28 June: Festival Village Grand Opening of O'Connorville at 7:00 pm St. John Festival Village 30 June: Festival Children's Village at 6:00 pm St. John National Park Field 2 July: Festival Poker Run at 12:00 pm Cruz Bay Waterfront 2 July: Festival Horse Races at 1:00 pm Clinton E. Phipps Race Track 3 July: Festival Emancipation Program at 1:00 pm St. John Festival Village 4 July: J'ouvert at 4:00 am St. John National Park Field 4 July: Festival Parade at 11:00 am St. John National Park Field 4 July: Festival Fireworks at 9:00 pm Cruz Bay Harbor Visit St. John Festival Schedule: www.vicarnivalschedule.com/stjohn/
62 minutes | Jun 10, 2017
Cedelle Petersen-Christopher, Virgin Islands Cariso Singer and Culture Bearer
According to Mrs. Cedelle Petersen-Christopher, "Cariso is a melodic memory of our African past. It is an art form that was brought to the Virgin Islands and the rest of the Caribbean during the enslavement of West Africans. It is a form of communication that was done secretly so that the slave master could not understand. It is an art form that was sung by the ancestors to transmit secret messages of rebellion; freedom songs of historical and current events; storytelling of long, long ago; and to make biting and stinging social commentary." "Cariso which means 'carry it so' was sung by women exclusively in a call and response style accompanied by the men playing the barrel drums. At times the women would compete with each other and use their wit, poetic skills, and singing ability. It is on the sugar cane fields, towns, and villages, vegetable and fish markets this art form was practiced throughout the Caribbean. Long ago it was called Cariso and today it is called Calypso." "It’s important for me to share this art form that was handed down from generation to generation. It must be continued for the preservation of the history of the Virgin Islands." Cedelle Petersen-Christopher, born on St. Croix, US Virgin Islands to Edna & Pierpont Petersen, was the 10th child of the family. Almost all of her siblings were in the music industry whether singing, drumming, limbo dancing, or playing bass, you would hear the rhythms throughout the house. Cedelle, with her sister, Sherryl Petersen, joined the St. Croix Talent Club in the 1960s to sing blues & R&B in local shows & many Caribbean islands. After graduating high school, she attended UVI where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Education & a Master's in Education from Cambridge College. Cedelle taught as a school teacher for 31 years before retiring in 2014.
57 minutes | Jun 3, 2017
A Sampling of the History of Caribbean Music
Caribbean music genres are diverse. They are each synthesis of African, European, Indian,& Indigenous influences, largely created by descendants of African slaves, & contributions from other communities (such as Indo-Caribbean music). Some of the styles to gain wide popularity outside of the Caribbean include, calypso, dancehall, reggae, reggaetón (musical genre coming out of Puerto Rico in the late 1990s that were influenced by hip hop, Latin American, & Caribbean music), salsa, soca, & zouk, among others. The Caribbean is also related to Central American and South American music. The complex & deep origins of Caribbean music are best understood if you have knowledge of Western Hemisphere colonial immigration patterns, human trafficking patterns, the resulting melting pot of people each of its nations, & territories. Thus, this resulted in an influx of original musical influences. Colonial Caribbean ancestors were predominantly from West Africa, West Europe, & India. In the 20th & 21st centuries, immigrants also come from Taiwan, China, Indonesia/Java, & the Middle East. In addition, neighboring Latin American & North American (particularly hip hop & pop music) countries have naturally influenced Caribbean culture & vice versa. One must understand these influences to have a deep understanding of the resulting Caribbean music that reflects the culture of the people. Although there are musical commonalities among Caribbean nations & territories, the variation in immigration patterns & colonial domination tends to parallel the variations in musical influence. Language barriers (Spanish, Portuguese, English, Hindustani, Tamil, Telugu, Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Yiddish, Yoruba, African languages, Indian languages, Amerindian languages, French, Indonesian, Javanese, & Dutch) are one of the strongest influences. Courtesy of Wikipedia.org
62 minutes | May 27, 2017
Memorial Day, the Day We Honor Our Fallen Servicemen and Servicewomen
Memorial Day, the day we pay respects to our fallen military, is observed on the last Monday of May. It commemorates all servicemen & servicewomen of the United States. People visit cemeteries & memorials on Memorial Day. Since the attack on America on September 11, 2001, a total of 147 women deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait have lost their lives in service to America. Most Americans, & even members of the media, not aware that 147 brave servicewomen have died in the War on Terrorism. With few exceptions, news stories about their tragic deaths usually appear only in the military press, or in small hometown newspaper stories & TV accounts that rarely capture national attention. Military hospitals nationwide have cared for many female heroes who have lost limbs. When 2 women Marines & a female sailor were killed in a Fallujah truck attack in June 2005, 11 more were sent to Brooke Medical Center in Texas, which specializes in the treatment of severe burns. 100s have received medals for serious injuries & for personal valor under fire. Memorial Day started as an event to honor Union soldiers who had died during the Civil War. The Southerners honored their dead was the inspiration. After World War I, Memorial Day was extended to include all servicemen who died in any war or military action. Memorial Day, originally Decoration Day, did not come into use until after World War II. Decoration Day & the later Memorial Day were held on May 30th, regardless of the day of the week on which it fell. In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed as part of a move to use federal holidays to create 3-day weekends. This meant that that, from 1971, Memorial Day holiday has been officially observed on the last Monday in May.
61 minutes | May 20, 2017
History in the Making and History Made
Mr. Joseph Lorand, Veteran Postman, celebrated his 25th Anniversary as a letter carrier in the Danish West Indies. On May 31, 1911, Mr. Lorand was recognized for his great contributions. He was awarded the silver cross of Dannebrogsmand. As acting Government Secretary, Baumann made the presentation, he praised & congratulated Mr. Lorand for this high distinction & for 25 years of dedicated service. ~ Courtesy ofVINTAGE VIRGIN ISLANDS™ National Maritime Day, celebrated May 22nd in the US each yea, reflects the gratitude that Americans have for the maritime industry & the benefits it brings to the country. It also recognizes ships & seafarers who have held a special place in the nation's history. Many communities & organizations in the US observe National Maritime Day in a variety of ways. Activities & events include open houses & special celebrations hosted by seaports. Some businesses may host special luncheons while other people attend memorial observances at Merchant Marine memorials. National Maritime Day is an observance but it is not a federal public holiday in the United States. Memorial Day started as an event to honor Union soldiers who had died during the American Civil War. It was inspired by the way people in the Southern States honored their dead. After World War I, it was extended to include all men & women who died in any war or military action.Originally known as Decoration Day, its current name did not come into use until after World War II. Decoration Day, then Memorial Day, used to be held on May 30, regardless of the day of the week, on which it fell. On Armed Forces Day, the 3rd Saturday of May, we celebrate & thank those who are currently serving in the military.
63 minutes | May 13, 2017
May Month's Collage of Celebrations in the US Virgin Islands
Mother's Day is a celebration honoring the mother of the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in the months of March or May. It is celebrated similarly in the US Virgin Islands. Another celebration is the anniversary of Moravian Church on St. Thomas. St. Thomas Police Week: May 14-May 21, 2017 May 14: VIPD Officers to attend church. May 15: Memorial Service & Parade at 4:00 pm from Emile Griffith Park to Fort Christian Parking Lot May 16: Mariel Newton Command’s Show & Tell Health Expo at Alvin McBean Ballpark at 9:30 am to include the VIPD Specialized Units. Students & Senior Citizens to attend. Health screening conducted by Dept. of Human Services. May 17: Show & Tell Cruz Bay, St. John at Julius Sprauve School at 2:00 pm to include VIPD’s K:9 Unit, Forensic Unit, Bomb Unit, Highway Safety, & VI Fire Service. May 18: Police in the Schools at 8:30 am to read to students. Family Game Night at VIRPO Bldg (former USO) at 7:00 pm. Everyone invited for fun, food, drinks, dominoes, pool, Bingo etc. May 19: Membership Drive Fish Fry at VIRPO at 5:00 pm to recognize to active employees with 20 years of service + with care packages to the less-fortunate. May 20: Family Fun Day at Emile Griffith Ballpark 11:30 am for entire family's day of fun, food, drinks, games. May 21: Law Enforcement Family Beach Day at Magen’s Bay Shed # 3 at 11:00 am, the last lap for Police Week 2017 events. VI Retired Police Organization Headquarters will be open & hosting activities every evening all week. Courtesy of www.Facebook.com/POLICEVI/
62 minutes | May 6, 2017
Blanche Mary Joseph Sasso, Virgin Islands Role Model, Lived to Be 105
Born Sept. 15, 1899 in her Bunker Hill home on St. Thomas in the then Danish West Indies, Mrs. Blanche Mary Joseph Sasso, is the youngest of 5 children, & was known affectionately as Mamma Sasso, Auntie Blanche, Granny Sasso, & The Grand Lady. The Grand Lady & her sister played an important role in Virgin Islands history in 1921 when they embroidered the territory's first flag. Mrs. Sasso went on to educate generations of young Virgin Islanders. Since she was a child, Mrs. Sasso can remember her birthday brought rain. Tropical Storm, Jeanne, brought heavy downpours & gusty winds. "That's another melee," Mrs. Sasso stated. "From the time I was about 10 years up to now, there's never been a birthday without rain." Mrs. Sasso graduated Convent School on St. Thomas, where her musical talents were encouraged. She soon took up playing the cello & the piano. In fact, family members recall that her love for music continued to her final days. Eventually teaching on both St. Thomas & St. Croix, Mrs. Sasso began her teaching career in the public schools in 1921. Specializing in teaching the performing arts, she developed her own school on the 1st floor of her family home. Married to Ernest D. Sasso, a former Finance Commissioner, in 1921, the birth of their only child, Leah, led to the closing of her school. She later returned to teaching at Sts. Peter & Paul School in 1950, at which time she taught kindergarten, first, & second grades until 1967, the year after her husband died. Mrs. Sasso, named Teacher-of-the-Year on several occasions, died of respiratory failure at the age of 105 at 11:45 p.m. May 11th, 2005, surrounded by family members, at the Roy L. Schneider Hospital. Although her daughter, Leah, followed her in death, Mrs. Sasso is survived a large extended family & a circle of close friends.
61 minutes | Apr 22, 2017
A Collage of Current Events Becoming History in the Making
The Virgin Islands Carnival Committee announces 2017 Virgin Islands Carnival theme: “A Centennial Commemoration for our 65th Carnival Celebration” as submitted by Mr. Clement “Cain” Magras. History of St. Thomas Carnival: The 1st carnival was staged in 1912 during the final years of Danish occupation & lapsed during World War I. Revived in 1952; Carnival has become the 2nd largest festival in the Caribbean. A month-long series of dazzling pageants & talent shows are held to choose royalty to reign over the festival. Fun events such as a boat race, Greased Pig Contest, & Toddlers Derby entertain everyone. A series of elimination contests to crown top performers are called Calypso Tents. Calypsonians offer a satirical commentary on the state of the islands, oftentimes mocking the shenanigans of politicians. Other popular events held during Carnival is J'ouvert, a food fair presenting the islands’ best traditional eats & a competition to crown the King & Queen of the parade. The children's & adult’s parades close the lively month with brilliantly costumed & decorated troupes & floats. Theresa Marie Arnold-Davis, Cultural Fair Honoree: Theresa Marie Arnold-Davis has a passion for cooking which she developed during childhood as her family cooked for themselves & others as a means of living, with little education. Born on St. Croix to Leroy Arnold & Josephine Mulrain, Theresa has been participating in the Virgin Islands Carnival Cultural Fair since 1991. On this the 25th year of her participation, she is overjoyed to be named as the 2016 Carnival Cultural Fair Honoree. Also the 2014 St. Croix Carnival Food Fair Honoree, she became the 1st person to be honored by both Carnival Committees. Courtesy of http://www.vicarnival.com/
63 minutes | Apr 15, 2017
A Review of the Transfer Day Centennial Activities
The demise of the islands’ first residents, the Indians, was evident when the first Europeans after Columbus arrived in the late 1500s. Many countries expressed interest in the islands in the 1600s, including Holland, France, England, Spain, Denmark, & the Knights of Malta. But it was the Danes who established the first settlement on St. Thomas in 1672, expanding to St. John in 1694. St. Croix was added to the Danish West India Company in 1733, & plantations soon sprung up all over the islands. A treaty with the Dutch of Brandenburg in 1685 established St. Thomas as a slave-trading post. More than 200,000 slaves, primarily from Africa’s west coast, were forcibly shipped to the islands for the backbreaking work of harvesting cane, cotton, & indigo. St. John & St. Croix maintained a plantation economy, while St. Thomas developed as a trade center. Stripped of their dignity & freedom & fed up with the harsh conditions, in 1733 slaves attacked St. John’s Fort Frederiksvaern in Coral Bay, crippling operations for 6 months. In 1792 Denmark announced the cessation of the trade in humans. Freedom was not granted to slaves until 1848, when Moses “Buddhoe” Gottlieb led a revolution on St. Croix, 17 years before emancipation in the United States. After the freeing of slaves & the discovery of the sugar beet, agriculture in the islands declined. The industrial revolution ended the need for the islands as a shipping port, thus changing the economic environment. Little was heard of the islands until World War I, when the United States realized their strategic position & negotiated the purchase of the islands from Denmark for $25 million in gold. Although the islands were purchased in 1917, it wasn’t until 1927 that citizenship was granted to Virgin Islanders. The Organic Act of 1936 allowed for the creation of a senate, & from there the political process evolved.
63 minutes | Apr 8, 2017
Some Transfer Day Events as Witnessed by Valerie Sims of Vintage VI
Valerie will address some of the events she attended: Parades, Book Launchings, Museum Openings, Fundraisers, Tour of the Danmark Training Schooner March 26, 2017 2:00 p.m.: Parade starting at the National Park Dock and ending at The Battery, Cruz Bay, St. John. 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.: Governor’s Reception at The Battery. 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.: Cruz Bay Block Party at Franklin Powell Park. March 29, 2017 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.: Governor’s Reception at Fort Christian in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas. March 30, 2017 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.: Governor’s Reception at Government House in Christiansted, St. Croix. March 31, 2017 Transfer Day Activities 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.: Parade on St. Croix. 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: Ceremony on St. Croix. 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.: Parade on St. Thomas. 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.: Ceremony on St. Thomas. April 2, 2017 7:00 – 10:00 p.m.: Centennial Gala Ball at Renaissance Carambola Beach Resort and Spa on St. Croix. Tickets are $75.00 each and can be purchased at Anally Farms or Undercover Books. www,ValerieSims.com/ www.VITransferCentennial.org www.Facebook.com/USVITransferCentennial/
61 minutes | Mar 25, 2017
Virgin Islands Educators of Various Circumstances Helping to Raise the VI Child
Dr. Amicitia Maloon-Gibson: Dr. Cita is an executive consultant, speaker, author, certified mediator, & life coach. Describing herself as a student-for-life, Dr. Cita holds advanced degrees in Management, Leadership, Human Resources Development, & Social Psychology. A decorated veteran with 29 years of service, Dr. Cita is passionate about giving back to the community, especially in areas of youth education, the homeless, & disabled veterans. Mrs. Turiya Hodge: Turiya is the owner of Myabah Consulting Services & founder of Social Media Saturdays, an online platform she's dedicated to helping professionals, organizations, & companies grow their business by social media strategic planning in the area of lead-generation. She understands that owning & operating a business come with many challenges but believes that social media marketing should not be one of them. Now back home. Mrs. Sara W. Connell: Sara, 2nd child of 6 born to now-deceased Arturo & Elesa Watlington, married to Olman Connell, is an alumna of Sts. Peter & Paul School. She became a Teacher at CAHS, Ivanna Eudora Kean HS, in the Adult Night School Program, Asst. Principal & Principal at IEKHS, & Principal at her alma mater, & an Educational Specialist at the Dept. of Labor, among countless others. Ms. Ivanna Eudora Kean: An educator for 52 years, Ms. Kean began her teaching career at the Hospital Gade School (now the J. Antonio Jarvis Elementary School). She later became the principal of the Vester Gade (now Jane E. Tuitt Elementary School). Miss Kean taught at the George Washington School (now Evelyn E. Marcelli Elementary School), the J. Antonio Jarvis Elementary School, and Charlotte Amalie High School. On February 27, 1979, this beloved educator passed away leaving a legacy behind.
62 minutes | Mar 18, 2017
Extensive Trade and Shipping in the Charlotte Amalie Harbor
The St. Thomas Harbor is one of the most important commercial ports in the West Indies of the 1800s. The harbor was a free port. Traffic there was extensive because of its good situation & fine facilities. It was popular among merchants & trading companies for its good facilities: the West Indies’ largest floating dock, good machine shops, clear channel marking, & inexpensive harbor fees. But it was also notorious for 2 problems: hurricanes & diseases, particularly yellow fever & cholera. In the 1800s, an average of 2,000–3,000 ships came annually to St. Thomas. In the 1860s, this increased to 4,600 annually. About half of the tall ships arrived from Caribbean ports & a quarter from European ports. Vessels under the Danish flag made up a smaller share. In the 1820s, it was 23%; in the final year before the sale in 1917, it was only 13%. Most ships in the 1820s sailed under an American flag, but in the 1910s British ships had become completely dominant. The vessels in the harbor became larger. In the 1st half of the 1800s, the average tonnage increased from 60 to 100 metric tons. From the 1820s to 1916, the total tonnage increased from 150,000 to 900,000 metric tons annually. In 1823, the first steamship ever put in to St. Thomas was a small North American steamer. From the 1860s onward, steamships came to the fore in earnest. In 1864 they accounted for 10% of the tonnage in the port. In order to hold their own in international competition, extensive improvements were made to the harbor by the Danes at the start of the 1900s. The basin was deepened, wharves were constructed & conditions were generally improved. There were great expectations for the increased traffic that would pass the Danish colony on the way to & from the newly-opened Panama Canal. However, the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 frustrated all expectations, & the colony was sold to the USA in 1917.
61 minutes | Mar 11, 2017
Main Street: The Stores and Their Proprietors, Part V
Main Street traverses east-west through Charlotte Amalie, on St. Thomas, parallel to the Waterfront to the South. As the capital and the largest city of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Charlotte Amalie was founded in 1666 as Taphus (meaning "beer houses" or "beer halls"). The Main Street, the main tourist shopping center, is known for its Danish colonial architecture, building structure and history, with streets and places throughout the city with Danish names. Charlotte Amalie has many residential buildings and stores of historical importance, with several of them on Main Street. During the time of the Danish West Indies (1754–1917), the city was known as Taphus for its many beer halls. Taphus is Danish and directly translates to "beer houses", "beer halls", or (most literally) "taphouse". In 1691 the town received a more respectable name by being named Amalienborg (in English Charlotte Amalie) in honor of Danish King Christian V’s wife, Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Kassel (1650–1714). Between 1921 and 1936, the city was named St. Thomas. In 1936 it was renamed Charlotte Amalie.
61 minutes | Mar 4, 2017
Continued Tour of Main Street, VI History Month, Transfer Day Centennial, & More
Main Street traverses east-west through Charlotte Amalie, on St. Thomas, parallel to the Waterfront to the South. As the capital and the largest city of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Charlotte Amalie was founded in 1666 as Taphus (meaning "beer houses" or "beer halls"). The Main Street, the main tourist shopping center, is known for its Danish colonial architecture, building structure and history, with streets and places throughout the city with Danish names. Charlotte Amalie has many residential buildings and stores of historical importance, with several of them on Main Street. Before the time of the Danish West Indies (1754–1917), the city was known as Taphus for its many beer halls. Taphus is Danish and directly translates to "beer houses", "beer halls", or (most literally) "taphouse". Therefore, in today's episode, we shall attempt to continue our tour of Main Street from the Rothschild Francis Square to The Alvaro de Lugo Post Office, also known as the Emancipation Garden Post Office. Additionally, we have some relevant tidbits and surprises. March is designated as Virgin Islands History Month. This month is also the month when the Virgin Islands celebrate its centennial under the American flag. Dr. Denise Bennerson, a resident of Frederiksted, St. Croix, has created a United States Virgin Islands 100 Years Commemorative Pin as a keepsake and souvenir to commemorate this historical event. This limited-edition pin displays the Denmark Flag, the US Virgin Islands Flag, and United States Flag along with the shaking of hands to represent the current friendship between all places. To get your limited-edition United States Virgin Islands 100 Years Commemorative Pin while they last, go to https://goo.gl/fJfKyK
31 minutes | Feb 25, 2017
Some Tidbits and Memories from a Few Locals
Our continued tour of the Main Street stores and their proprietors is pre-empted until next week. In keeping with the excitement and anticipation of the upcoming Virgin Islands Transfer Centennial celebration, we'll address several locals who intend to call-in with some tidbits and memories. Because this year, 2017, is the US Virgin Islands Centennial Year when the United States Virgin Islands will commemorate the transferring the Virgin Islands from Denmark to the United States 100 years ago (March 31, 1917 to March 31, 2017), the US Virgin Islands Centennial Year will be recognized by many as one of yearlong activities. Also, we are the first to announce In keeping with the Transfer Day Centennial celebration, I'm proud to mention that my good friend and colleague, Dr. Denise Bennerson, has made her contribution to the yearlong Transfer Day Centennial celebration. Dr. Bennerson, a photographer and Virgin Islands conservative historian of the US Virgin Islands, has created a United States Virgin Islands 100 Years Commemorative Lapel Pin is now available. The US Virgin Islands Centennial Year will be recognized by many as one of yearlong activities. Therefore, the United States Virgin Islands 100 Years Commemorative Lapel Pin is destined to become a keepsake and souvenir to commemorate this historical event. This limited-edition lapel pin is displayed in our slideshow. To get your United States Virgin Islands 100 Years Commemorative Lapel Pin and other Virgin Islands lapel pins while they last, go to https://goo.gl/fJfKyK .
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