Bahamians have gone on to win numerous track and field medals at the Olympic Games, IAAF World Championships in Athletics, Commonwealth Games and Pan American Games. Frank Rutherford is the first athletics Olympic medallist for the country. He won a bronze medal for triple jump during the 1992 Summer Olympics. Pauline Davis-Thompson, Debbie Ferguson, Chandra Sturrup, Savatheda Fynes and Eldece Clarke-Lewis teamed up for the first athletics Olympic gold medal for the country when they won the 4 × 100 m relay at the 2000 Summer Olympics. They are affectionately known as the "Golden Girls". Tonique Williams-Darling became the first athletics individual Olympic gold medallist when she won the 400-metre sprint in 2004 Summer Olympics. In 2007, with the disqualification of Marion Jones, Pauline Davis-Thompson was advanced to the gold medal position in the 200 metres at the 2000 Olympics, predating William-Darling.
Legislative power is vested In a bicameral parliament, which consists of a 38-member House of Assembly (the lower house), with members elected from single-member districts, and a 16-member Senate, with members appointed by the governor-general, including nine on the advice of the Prime Minister, four on the advice of the leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, and three on the advice of the prime minister after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition. As under the Westminster system, the prime minister may dissolve Parliament and call a general election at any time within a five-year term.More Info
The Bahamas consists of a chain of islands spread out over some 800 kilometres (500 mi) in the Atlantic Ocean, located to the east of Florida in the United States, north of Cuba and Hispaniola and west of the British Overseas Territory of the Turks and Caicos Islands (with which it forms the Lucayan archipelago). It lies between latitudes 20° and 28°N, and longitudes 72° and 80°W and straddles the Tropic of Cancer. There are some 700 islands and cays in total (of which 30 are inhabited) with a total land area of 10,010 km2 (3,860 sq mi).More Info
The British House of Lords voted to give The Bahamas its independence on 22 June 1973. Prince Charles delivered the official documents to Prime Minister Lynden Pindling, officially declaring The Bahamas a fully independent nation on 10 July 1973, and this date is now celebrated as the country's Independence Day. It joined the Commonwealth of Nations on the same day. Sir Milo Butler was appointed the first governor-general of The Bahamas (the official representative of Queen Elizabeth II) shortly after independence.More Info
In the 1820s during the period of the Seminole Wars in Florida, hundreds of North American slaves and African Seminoles escaped from Cape Florida to The Bahamas. They settled mostly on northwest Andros Island, where they developed the village of Red Bays. From eyewitness accounts, 300 escaped in a mass flight in 1823, aided by Bahamians in 27 sloops, with others using canoes for the journey. This was commemorated in 2004 by a large sign at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. Some of their descendants in Red Bays continue African Seminole traditions in basket making and grave marking.More Info
As with most tropical climates, seasonal rainfall follows the sun, and summer is the wettest season. There is only a 7 °C (13 °F) difference between the warmest month and coolest month in most of the Bahama islands. Every few decades low temperatures can fall below 10 °C (50 °F) for a few hours when a severe cold outbreak comes down from the North American mainland, however there has never been a frost or freeze recorded in the Bahamian Islands. Only once in recorded history has snow been seen in the air anywhere in The Bahamas, this occurred in Freeport on 19 January 1977, when snow mixed with rain was seen in the air for a short time. The Bahamas are often sunny and dry for long periods of time, and average more than 3,000 hours or 340 days of sunlight annually. Much of the natural vegetation is tropical scrub and cactus and succulents are common in landscapes.More Info
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