A new constitution granting The Bahamas internal autonomy went into effect on 7 January 1964, with Chief Minister Sir Roland Symonette of the UBP becoming the first Premier.:p.73 In 1967, Lynden Pindling of the PLP became the first black Premier of the Bahamian colony; in 1968, the title of the position was changed to Prime Minister. In 1968, Pindling announced that The Bahamas would seek full independence. A new constitution giving The Bahamas increased control over its own affairs was adopted in 1968. In 1971, the UBP merged with a disaffected faction of the PLP to form a new party, the Free National Movement (FNM), a de-racialised, centre-right party which aimed to counter the growing power of Pindling's PLP.
In 1987, Johnson married Allegra Mostyn-Owen, daughter of the art historian William Mostyn-Owen and Italian writer Gaia Servadio. The couple's marriage was annulled in 1993 and 12 days later Johnson married Marina Wheeler, a barrister, daughter of journalist and broadcaster Charles Wheeler and his wife, Dip Singh. Five weeks later, Wheeler and Johnson's first child was born. The Wheeler and Johnson families have known each other for decades, and Marina Wheeler was at the European School, Brussels, at the same time as her future husband. They have four children: two daughters and two sons.More Info
The English had expressed an interest in The Bahamas as early as 1629. However, it was not until 1648 that the first English settlers arrived on the islands. Known as the Eleutherian Adventurers and led by William Sayle, they migrated to Bermuda seeking greater religious freedom. These English Puritans established the first permanent European settlement on an island which they named 'Eleuthera', Greek for 'freedom'. They later settled New Providence, naming it Sayle's Island. Life proved harder than envisaged however, and many – including Sayle – chose to return to Bermuda. To survive, the remaining settlers salvaged goods from wrecks.More Info
Johnson was baptised a Catholic and later confirmed into the Church of England, but has stated that "his faith comes and goes" and that he is not a serious practising Christian. He holds ancient Greek statesman and orator Pericles as a personal hero. According to Johnson's biographer, Andrew Gimson, regarding ancient Greek and Roman polytheism: "it is clear that [Johnson] is inspired by the Romans, and even more by the Greeks, and repelled by the early Christians". Johnson views secular humanism positively and sees it as owing more to the classical world than to Christian thinking.More Info
In August 1940, the Duke of Windsor was appointed Governor of The Bahamas. He arrived in the colony with his wife. Although disheartened at the condition of Government House, they "tried to make the best of a bad situation". He did not enjoy the position, and referred to the islands as "a third-class British colony". He opened the small local parliament on 29 October 1940. The couple visited the "Out Islands" that November, on Axel Wenner-Gren's yacht, which caused controversy; the British Foreign Office strenuously objected because they had been advised by United States intelligence that Wenner-Gren was a close friend of the Luftwaffe commander Hermann Göring of Nazi Germany.More Info
During proprietary rule, The Bahamas became a haven for pirates, including Blackbeard (circa 1680–1718). To put an end to the 'Pirates' republic' and restore orderly government, Great Britain made The Bahamas a crown colony in 1718 under the royal governorship of Woodes Rogers. After a difficult struggle, he succeeded in suppressing piracy. In 1720, the Spanish attacked Nassau during the War of the Quadruple Alliance. In 1729, a local assembly was established giving a degree of self-governance for the English settlers. The reforms had been planned by the previous Governor George Phenney and authorised in July 1728.More Info
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