83.9 F
Charlotte Amalie
Monday, May 16, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesTransfer Day Activities Highlight History

Transfer Day Activities Highlight History

March 31, 2006 — March 31 marks 89 years since the Danish government sold the Danish West Indies to the U.S. government for $25 million in gold. The islands were then renamed the American Virgin Islands. Across the territory, ceremonies and art exhibits commemorate the day.
The public is invited to Transfer Day ceremonies on St. Thomas at the Earle B. Ottley Legislative Hall. The event begins at 10 a.m. with the presentation of flags. Ambassador Torben Getterman, consul general of Denmark, is the keynote speaker.
On St. Croix, the Friends of Denmark will host the annual Transfer Day ceremony at the Lawaetz Family Museum in Frederiksted. The event begins at 10 a.m. and features presentations by local and Danish officials, music and storytelling. The museum is located on Route 76 in the rain forest.
A traveling exhibit on Transfer Day is presently at the Caribbean Museum Center on Strand Street and Fort Frederik in Frederiksted. The exhibit features photo transparencies of the first V.I. residents to request passports following the 1917 transfer. The exhibit highlights include a 1917 video clip taken at the transfer ceremony, an audio presentation of Transfer Day recollections from an 8-year-old girl witnessing the ceremony dreaming of eating "American apples," photography and paintings of the era. The exhibit successfully captures a significant moment in V.I. history.
Collaborating on the project were St. John artist Janet Cook-Rutnick, digital media artist Edgar Endress, Syracuse University anthropology Ph.D. student Lori Lee, playwright and poet Edgar O. Lake, storyteller Elaine Jacobs and St. Johnian Theodora Moorehead.
The exhibit, which began on St. Thomas last week and will continue to Puerto Rico, has been extended at the Caribbean Arts Museum until April 7.
The Treaty of Cession, as the transfer document was officially named, was signed in New York, August 1916. Formal ceremonies were held at 4 p.m. March 31, 1917, on St. Thomas and St. Croix. The Danish flag was lowered and the U.S. Stars and Stripes was raised. Danish citizenship could be preserved by making a declaration before a court within one year. Those not formally making the declaration were automatically deemed U.S. citizens. Approximately 80 percent of the then 2,000 island residents became Americans.

Back Talk

Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.




Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.

STAY CONNECTED

20,771FansLike
4,714FollowersFollow

FROM FACEBOOK

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Load more
March 31, 2006 -- March 31 marks 89 years since the Danish government sold the Danish West Indies to the U.S. government for $25 million in gold. The islands were then renamed the American Virgin Islands. Across the territory, ceremonies and art exhibits commemorate the day.
The public is invited to Transfer Day ceremonies on St. Thomas at the Earle B. Ottley Legislative Hall. The event begins at 10 a.m. with the presentation of flags. Ambassador Torben Getterman, consul general of Denmark, is the keynote speaker.
On St. Croix, the Friends of Denmark will host the annual Transfer Day ceremony at the Lawaetz Family Museum in Frederiksted. The event begins at 10 a.m. and features presentations by local and Danish officials, music and storytelling. The museum is located on Route 76 in the rain forest.
A traveling exhibit on Transfer Day is presently at the Caribbean Museum Center on Strand Street and Fort Frederik in Frederiksted. The exhibit features photo transparencies of the first V.I. residents to request passports following the 1917 transfer. The exhibit highlights include a 1917 video clip taken at the transfer ceremony, an audio presentation of Transfer Day recollections from an 8-year-old girl witnessing the ceremony dreaming of eating "American apples," photography and paintings of the era. The exhibit successfully captures a significant moment in V.I. history.
Collaborating on the project were St. John artist Janet Cook-Rutnick, digital media artist Edgar Endress, Syracuse University anthropology Ph.D. student Lori Lee, playwright and poet Edgar O. Lake, storyteller Elaine Jacobs and St. Johnian Theodora Moorehead.
The exhibit, which began on St. Thomas last week and will continue to Puerto Rico, has been extended at the Caribbean Arts Museum until April 7.
The Treaty of Cession, as the transfer document was officially named, was signed in New York, August 1916. Formal ceremonies were held at 4 p.m. March 31, 1917, on St. Thomas and St. Croix. The Danish flag was lowered and the U.S. Stars and Stripes was raised. Danish citizenship could be preserved by making a declaration before a court within one year. Those not formally making the declaration were automatically deemed U.S. citizens. Approximately 80 percent of the then 2,000 island residents became Americans.

Back Talk


Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.