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Antigua's History

Antigua's National Anthem and Words

Antigua is the largest of the Leeward Islands and is considered the "Gateway to the Caribbean". This tranquil island is rich in culture and history. So take a minute to enjoy the beauty that is Antigua.

Antigua was inhabited by the Siboney(stone people)as far back as 2400BC. The Arawaks lived on this island between AD 35-1100. Christopher Colombus landed on Antigua in 1493. He then named this island Santa Maria de le Antigua. Antigua has two dependencies, Barbuda and (uninhabited) Redonda. In 1674 Sir Christopher Codrington established the first large sugar estate. Forests were cleared for sugarcane production and African slaves were brought in. The slaves were then emancipated in 1834 but economic opportunities were limited. In 1943 Vere Bird formed the Antigua Labour Party and won the first of a long series of electorial votes. Antigua was administered as part of the Leeward islands in 1959, and attained associated status with full internal self-government. In 1967 Antigua became a member of the West Indian Association of States and gained control of internal affairs. Then in November 1981 Antigua and Barbuda, as one territory, became independent. Vere C Bird became the first Prime Minister and was in office four times consecutively. Vere Bird retired as Prime Minister in 1994 where his son succeded him. Lester Bird,the current Prime Minister, led the ALP party to its ninth out of ten victories.

Some important facts.....
Antigua is 430 miles (692km) north of Venezuela
Antigua is 108 square miles (280km)
Barbuda is 62 square miles (161km)
Redonda is 1/2 a square mile (1.3km)
This island was formed by volcanoes worn down by wind and rain
Average temp is 80F (27C)

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