In 1917, the United States
purchased St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas
from the Danish government to prevent their
becoming a German submarine base during
World War I. St. Croix first fell under
the jurisdiction of the U.S. Navy and was
later granted Territorial status. A period
of uneven economic recovery continued until
the 1950s, when tourists began to discover
the island. Since then, the industry and
the island has seen steady growth.
Today, the U.S. Virgin
Islands is an unincorporated Territory with
a non-voting delegate to the U.S. House
of Representatives. Although all persons
born here are U.S. citizens and taxpayers,
they have no vote in national elections.
Islanders were granted the vote in local
elections in 1936 and chose their first
governor in 1970.