Previously controlled by Denmark as the Danish West Indies, the territory was sold to the United States by Denmark in the 1916 Treaty of the Danish West Indies, with the territory holding a holiday know as Transfer Day every year on March 31st to commemorate the acquisition of the islands by the United States, and U.S. citizenship was granted to the inhabitants of the islands in 1927. The Danish influence is still apparent in the names of the towns, roads, and people's surnames. Tourism is big here, as you need neither a passport nor working knowledge of another language to get by, and makes up most of the economy.
Another interesting bit of trivia is that while the rest of the US drives on the right side of the road, the US Virgin Islanders drive on the left side. However, most vehicles have the steering wheel on the left (U.S.-style), rather than the right-side steering wheels typical in most left-driving countries.
U.S. Virgin Islands in Media
- 1983: Doomsday: After hearing that the U.S. federal government relocated to Australia, the U.S. Virgin Islands renamed itself as the United States Atlantic Remnant.
- Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2: The U.S. Virgin Islands is the setting for one mission in the Soviet campaign.
- Tim Duncan, formerly of the NBA's San Antonio Spurs and now awaiting virtually certain Hall of Fame induction in 2020, was born on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.
United States Virgin Islander flag