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Sun, 09.28.1884

David Hamilton Jackson, Labor Rights Advocate born

David Hamilton Jackson

*David Hamilton Jackson was born on this date in 1884. He was a Black educator and labor rights advocate.

He was born in Estate East Hill, St. Croix, Danish West Indies. Jackson worked as an educator and later a bookkeeper and clerk before becoming involved in the politics of the Danish West Indies.

He traveled to Denmark and successfully petitioned for the repeal of a 1779 law which prohibited independent newspapers and enforced strict censorship on all publications in the territory. Upon returning home, he established the first free newspaper, The Herald. The date of this event, November 1, is celebrated as an annual public holiday known as "Liberty Day," D. Hamilton Jackson Day, or Bull and Bread Day in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

With the help of Ralph Bough, Jackson organized the first union in the Danish West Indies, St. Croix Labor Union, in 1913. He lobbied for the transfer of the islands to American control. After his visit, most Folketing wanted Danish rule over the islands to end. In the Danish West Indies, later the United States Virgin Islands. Jackson was an important figure in the struggle for increased civil rights and workers' rights on the islands.

He petitioned for freedom of the press, organized the islands' first trade union. Following the transfer of the territory to American control in 1917, he lobbied for U.S. citizenship for the islanders. David Jackson died on May 30, 1946. A residential community in Christiansted has been named in his honor.


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