Independence Day is celebrated on 10 July in the Bahamas, to commemorate the day in 1973 when this island-nation became 100 percent independent of the UK.
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The Bahamas had earlier gained full control over its own internal affairs in 1964, but independence was not granted until nine years later.
The 700-plus islands of the Bahamas were long inhabited by Taino peoples, who were first encountered by Columbus in his 1492 journey to the Americas. Later, the Spanish raided these islands for slave labour, leaving them ultimately uninhabited.
The first European settlers to the Bahamas were Englishmen from Bermuda. They arrived in 1648, but the settlements remained small, while pirates constantly hid out in and dominated the area.
After the American War for Independence, many Loyalists moved to the Bahamas. And during the American Civil War, Confederates running the Union blockade often hid out in the Bahamas. After World War II, the tourist industry began to boom, and this trend continues today, forming the backbone of the nation’s prosperity.
During Independence Day in the Bahamas, tourism is at a high point. Both locals and tourists enjoy parades, cultural festivals, art displays, regattas, fairs, and more. The capital city of Nassau is especially a centre of activity, but even the smallest inhabited islands will often have some special events going on.
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