This year, we celebrate our 100th anniversary as an American territory. The United States purchased St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John from Denmark on March 31, 1917. March 31 is now known as Transfer Day in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Virgin Island Transfer Centennial Commission has been preparing since 2014 to commemorate and celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the transfer of the Virgin Islands from Denmark to the United States of America. Sponsored events started in January 2017 and will continue through the end of the year. View a list of Centennial Commemoration events.
This week, the Centennial Parade will take place in Christiansted on March 31, 8 to 10am, followed by the Transfer Centennial Ceremony with a symbolic changing of the flags. We’ll also be welcoming the Danmark, a 234 ft. tall ship visiting from Denmark on April 1.
Interesting Facts About Transfer Day
- The United States paid $25 million for St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John.
- The primary reason the U.S. wanted the Virgin Islands is their strategic location to guard the Panama Canal.
- The official transfer occurred at 4pm on March 31, 1917.
- The U.S. made multiple attempts to purchase the islands prior to 1917. The first was in the mid-1860’s.
Follow the U.S. Virgin Island Transfer Centennial on Facebook for updates about events and activities, and to see interesting documents and photos from our past.