Saba would have been discovered by Columbus in 1493; Indians lived there then.
In 1632, it became Dutch property. In 1635, an English ship was wrecked near Saba; the survivors were probably the first European inhabitants. In addition, the population is descended from African slaves, Scots, Irish and people from the Dutch province Zeeland. Saba has always had a rich pirate past. In 1655, Jamaican pirates under the leadership of Captain Henry Morgan conquered Saba and shipped all 54 Dutchmen and their 87 slaves to St Maarten.
In 1938, the construction of a road was started. Until then, there were only stairs on the steep island, and according to Dutch engineers, it was impossible to build a road here. Construction began under the direction of local carpenter Josephus Hassell, a self-taught road builder. In 1947, the road was completed and the first car arrived on the island. Today, the road is about 14 kilometres long.
In 1960, a small airport was built on the northern tip of Saba (Flat-Point). It has the shortest runway for commercial air traffic in the world (400 metres). In 1965, the first television appeared on the island. Electricity, generated by a generator, was already there then, but not on a daily basis. That was not the case until 1970.
In 1969, Joseph Richardson, then 23, became Saba's administrator. He was the first non-white administrator in the Netherlands Antilles.
In a referendum held on 5 November 2004, the people of Saba opted for direct ties with the Netherlands.
Referendum result 5 November 2004 Option Votes Percentage
- A: direct links with the Netherlands 555 86,05%
- B: remain part of the Netherlands Antilles 85 13,18%
- C: independence 5 0,78%
- Blank and invalid vote 21 -
- Turnout 666 77,80%
Finally, on 11 October 2006, Saba (together with Bonaire and Sint Eustatius) reached agreement with the Netherlands on a new status as a 'special municipality' of the Netherlands. This should take effect at the end of 2008. In December 2006, it became known that Noord-Holland wants Saba, Sint-Eustatius and Bonaire to fall under this province.
Since 10 October 2010, the Netherlands Antilles no longer exists in its current form. Since that date, Curacao and Sint Maarten have been independent countries within the Kingdom. Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba are now special municipalities of the Netherlands.
The Kingdom of the Netherlands now consists of four countries with their own governments: Aruba, the Netherlands, Curaçao and Sint Maarten. Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius have a separate status within the Netherlands and are called the Caribbean Netherlands. Together with Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten, they form the Caribbean part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Between 12 and 21 November 2013, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima visited the six islands in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. On Thursday November 14th it was Saba's turn.
Derksen,G / Nederlandse Antillen en Aruba
Soesbergen, M. van / Bovenwindse eilanden
CIA - World Factbook
BBC - Country Profiles
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