DPNR to Celebrate November as D. Hamilton Jackson Month

Employees and staff of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources will celebrate November as David Hamilton Jackson Month, according to a press release issued Monday by the DPNR.

The Virgin Islands Senate has passed a law designating November as David Hamilton Jackson Month, which tasks DPNR’s V.I. Historic Preservation Office, and the Division of Libraries, Archives and Museums with highlighting Jackson’s achievements and contributions, and with developing appropriate programs and ceremonies within their statutory jurisdictions for the celebration.

“For all his achievements, D. Hamilton Jackson is probably best known for securing concessions from Denmark in 1915 to establish a free press in the Danish West Indies,” according to Commissioner Dawn L. Henry. “This is why for the past 67 years we have celebrated territory-wide Nov. 1 as Liberty Day, or Freedom of the Press Day."

As the intrepid editor of The Herald, the first free press newspaper in the Danish West Indies, Jackson used his publications and his own considerable oratorical skills to advocate vociferously and organize actively for labor unions, and to establish and protect the rights of workers.” The Herald was published daily except Sundays from 1915 to 1925.

In celebration of David Hamilton Jackson Day on Nov. 1 and to educate the public on his significant contributions, the Division of Libraries, Archives and Museums has an online tribute to Jackson on its Web site homepage, which contains information on him, a scanned copy of The Herald (Nov. 1, 1915), a continuous PowerPoint slideshow presentation prepared by the Territorial Archives featuring the major events in the life of this accomplished Virgin Islander.

Preserved editions of the newspaper have been digitized in accordance with Act 7771 of the Virgin Islands Legislature. The digitization was accomplished under a collaborative grant project between the Digital Library of the Caribbean, DPNR/DLAM’s Territorial Archives and the University of the Virgin Islands; it was funded by the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) Latin Americanist Research Resources Project (LARRP) in 2015-2016. The digitized issues of The Herald —787 over 3,000 pages thus far—are viewable through the library’s Web site as well as other links to historical resources on Jackson.

The online tribute will remain on the homepage for all of November. During the month, DPNR will also showcase and exhibit the tribute at the Florence Williams Public Library on St. Croix.

For more information, contact Ingrid Bough, territorial director of Libraries, Archives and Museums at the Florence Williams Public Library, at 773-5715; Susan Lugo, territorial archivist, via e-mail at susan.lugo@dpnr.vi.gov at the Charles Wesley Turnbull Regional Public Library, at 774-0630; or Sean Krigger, director of the V.I. State Historic Preservation Office, at 776-8605.

Visit the Web site at www.virginislandspubliclibraries.org

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