National Heroes Day is a public holiday across the Turks and Caicos Islands that is observed every final Monday in the month of May. It is a day on which the territory’s sole official-status hero, James McCartney, is remembered and honoured.
|2019||27 May||Mon||National Heroes Day|
|2020||25 May||Mon||National Heroes Day|
McCartney had three middle names, beginning with the letters A, G, and S. Because of this unusual phenomenon, his first and middle names are often combined in an acronym, rendering “Jags” McCartney. “Jags” is famous for founding the People’s Democratic Movement in Turks and Caicos, a movement which was instrumental in achieving a level of local self-rule for the UK overseas territory.
Through the dogged, enthusiastic efforts of Jags McCartney, the people of Turks and Caicos were mobilised and encouraged to seek greater autonomy. Finally, in 1976, the UK granted the desired internal self-rule. And McCartney soon became Chief Minister of Turks and Caicos, and retained that post until he died in a plane accident in 1980.
Although there was a brief interlude during which Turks and Caicos autonomy was rescinded due to alleged local corruption, it has since been restored. And were it not for James McCartney, the islands would likely still lack self-rule.