Choosing a New Name
Months prior to the official Transfer Day ceremony, a resolution was submitted to the House of Representatives with a recommendation for a new name for the Danish West Indies.
They wished to name the islands in honor of Admiral George Dewey.
Admiral George Dewey
Admiral Dewey was a US Naval officer who became an American hero after the Spanish-American war.
Because of the Admiral’s influence, the islands were saved from the “scourge of German U-boats” that would have occupied the harbors during World War I.
Protests Against the New Name
Nevertheless, citizens in St. Thomas protested against the new name.
Dr. Viggo Christensen, a well respected civic leader, voiced his concerns in the local newspaper.
He argued that Admiral Dewey never had any real connection with the islands, and the name Dewey Islands, would not easily become naturalized.
He thought the name, United States West Indies was ill-sounding and very bad.
American Virgin Islands
Instead, he suggested the name, American Virgin Islands.
He thought this new name, flowed well, sounded well and was entirely appropriate.
Thanks to Dr. Christensen, his suggestion gave rise to the final name chosen, The Virgin Islands of the United States of America. 🇺🇸🇻🇮
*Resource: The Urgency for the Acquisition of the Danish West Indies by Aimery Caron.