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The History Behind Grenada’s Thanksgiving Day

October 25, 2012

A small island with a big history that is Grenada. Many persons outside the Caribbean region who have heard about our island most likely know it because of the American intervention in 1983. The events around that time are a significant part of Grenada’s history and are commemorated every year on October 25th, with the public holiday Thanksgiving Day.

In 1974, Grenada was granted Independence from the United Kingdom via the efforts of Sir Eric Matthew Gairy. Following this, a constitution was implemented and general election was held two years later. Gairy won the election and became the first Prime Minister of Grenada however; members of opposing parties accused Gairy of election fraud and rejected the results.

Members of the main opposing party, the New Jewel Movement led by Maurice Bishop overthrew Gairy’s government in 1979.  This revolutionary government reigned for four years until discord within the party led to the events of October 19th 1983 where Bishop and several other members of his cabinet were executed at Fort Rupert (now Fort George) by soldiers following orders given by Bishop’s deputy Bernard Coard.

Following these events, together with the fact that an airport was being built with Cuban assistance and that there were American medical students on the island Grenada was invaded/rescued on October 25th 1983 by United States forces with support from the Regional Security System in and operation codenamed Operation Urgent Fury. The island became politically stable after and there was a political marriage between the various parties and Sir Nicholas Braithwaite became the Prime Minister.

Today, Grenadians celebrate Thanksgiving Day in different ways, some with the traditional church service giving thanks to the Americans for their rescue mission and to remember those soldiers who lost their lives during the process. Others take a more casual approach and spend the day at a beach with family and friends.





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