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Thu, 02.07.1974

Grenada Gains Independence from Britain

*Grenada gained independence from Britain on this date in 1974. Grenada is a country in the West Indies in the Caribbean Sea at the southern end of the Grenadines island chain.

Grenada consists of the island of Grenada itself, two smaller islands, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, and several small islands which lie to the north of the main island and are a part of the Grenadines. It is located northwest of Trinidad and Tobago, northeast of Venezuela, and southwest of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Its size is 348.5 square kilometers (134.6 sq mi), and it had an estimated population of 112,523 in July 2020. Its capital is St. George's. Grenada is also known as the "Island of Spice" due to its production of nutmeg and mace crops. Grenada was inhabited by the indigenous Arawaks and later by the Island Caribs.  

Christopher Columbus sighted Grenada in 1498 during his third voyage to the Americas. Although it was deemed the property of the King of Spain, there are no records to suggest the Spanish ever landed or settled on the island. Following several unsuccessful attempts by Europeans to colonize the island due to resistance from the Island Caribs, French settlement and colonization began in 1650 and continued for the next century. On 10 February 1763, Grenada was ceded to the British under the Treaty of Paris. British rule continued until 1974 (except for a period of French rule between 1779 and 1783). From 1958 to 1962 Grenada was part of the Federation of the West Indies, a short-lived federation of British West Indian colonies.

On March 3, 1967, it was granted full autonomy over its internal affairs as an associated state. Independence was granted under the leadership of Eric Gairy, who became the first Prime Minister of Grenada of the sovereign state. The new country became a member of the Commonwealth, with Queen Elizabeth as Head of State. In March 1979, the Marxist–Leninist New Jewel Movement overthrew Gairy's government in a bloodless coup d'état and established the People's Revolutionary Government (PRG), headed by Maurice Bishop as Prime Minister. Bishop was later arrested and executed by members of the People's Revolutionary Army, prompting a U.S.-led invasion in October 1983. Since then, the island has remained politically stable without any further seizures of power.

Reference:

BB.US Embassy.gov

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