By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (March 31, 2022) – In Issue 2022-063 of Steve Kovacs Fun with Maps, we learn about the U.S. Virgin Islands.


March 31 is a holiday in the US Virgin Islands, celebrating the transfer of the islands from Denmark to the United States in 1917.

The US purchased the territory for $25 million, which amounted to $295 per acre.

A reenactment of the transfer ceremony at precisely 4pm on March 31 every year is part of the national festivities.

Saint Croix. Saint John and Saint Thomas are the main islands in the cluster, but there are more than 50 small islands that make up the entire area.

Tourism is the main industry, with world-renowned beaches, deep harbors for cruise ships, and shipwrecks and reefs for diving.

Bellin’s 1764 map of the northern part of the Lesser Antilles features the Virgin Islands on the left.

Virgin Islands shown upper left of this 1764 map (Credit Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Antique Maps & Fun Facts here on Loveland Beacon.