Liberty Day is a public holiday in the US Virgin Islands. The holiday commemorates the attainment of the liberty of freedom of the press by the people of what was then called the Danish West Indies.
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What today is the US Virgin Islands was long inhabited by Carib, Arawak, and other Indian tribes. One or more of the islands were under the dominion of various European powers at different points in their early colonial history, including Spain, France, Britain, and Netherlands.
But Denmark began to acquire the islands in 1672 and would continue to rule them until 1916, when they were sold to the US by treaty.
Under Danish rule, freedom of the press was suppressed beginning in 1779. Serious censorship by the government was commonplace. David Jackson bravely petitioned the King of Denmark to reverse this situation and won his petition. On 1 November, he printed a newspaper that would have been forbidden under the previous censorship laws.
Today, Liberty Day is still celebrated in US Virgin Islands to commemorate the beginning of the free exercise of the press in the islands.
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