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Q;  When the film "No Way Out" was released, the colonial administration in the Bahamas did not permit it to be shown there. But this violent film about racial hatred made a son of the Bahamas a hero in his country. Who was this hero?


A:  The actor, Sidney Poitier. The refusal of the government to allow showing of the film resulted in protest from a group of Bahamians. As it turned out,  the political party that emerged from this group fought for and won independence from Britain. 


Q:  Some people in the Bahamas say that on the island of Andros it makes sense to show respect to certain birdlike creatures. What name was given to these creatures?


A:  Chickcharnies. Folk belief is that when you show repect, you are blessed. Punishment is the consequence of disrespect. 


Q:  The Bahamas had a royal governor during World War II. Who was he?


A:  The Duke of Windsor. He was the British king (Jan-Dec 1936) until he abdicated in order to marry Mrs. Wallis Warfield Simpson, a divorcee. 


Q:  Who led the Bahamas to majority rule and independence?


A:  Sir Lynden Pindling. He came to power in 1967, promising the under-privileged Black majority a square deal. His party unseated a white merchant elite that had effectively ruled the Bahamas for generations and he remained the dominant figure in Bahamian political life for 25 years. His party lost power in 1992, and he resigned his parliamentary seat in 1997, admitting that he was "less than perfect." Sir Lynden died in August, 2000.


Q:  Which famous Bahamian was at one stage in his life told in the United States, "Why don't you go out and get yourself a job as a dishwasher or something and stop wasting people's time?"


A:  Sidney Poitier. He had just auditioned, unsuccessfully, for the American Negro Theater.


Q:  Why did the American navy capture Nassau during the American Revolution and hold for two weeks?


A:   It was part of an attempt to destroy British supply lines.


Q:  Which wealthy Spanish colonial administrator went to the Bahamas looking for the fountain of youth?


A:  Ponce de Leon. He heard from the Amerindians that in a place called Bimini there was a river, spring or fountain out of which flowed water with such miraculous powers that any old person who bathed in it would have both his  and youth restored. Bimini was said to be in the region of the Bahamas. Ponce de Leon searched the Bahamas diligently but, of course, failed to find it. Later, he sighted land, thought it was an island, and named it Florida.


Q:.  What do Guanahani, San Salvador, and Watling Island have in  common?


A:   All are names of the same island, believed to be the island on which Columbus made his first landing in the New World. It was called Guanahani by the native Ameridians who lived there, renamed San Salvador by Columbus, and appears on some old charts as Watling Island. It is one of the islands of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.


Q:  The first constitution of the Bahamas designated the territory as part of  what area of mainland America?


A:  The Carolinas. England's Oliver Cromwell, then King Charles II gave proprietorship to the Lords Proprietor of Carolina when the Carolinas were part of the British colonial empire. The claim ended in 1787.


Q:  What well-known person became ambassador to Japan for the Bahamas in 1997?


A:  The distinguished actor, Sidney Poitier. He is a dual citizen of the United States and the Bahamas.


Q:  What is the most remembered fact about the man after whom Watling Island (San Salvador) in the Bahamas is named?


A:  Watling was a pirate chief who flogged his crew for not observing the Sabbath.


Q:  Who were the "Bay Street Boys?"


Q:  If you hear someone described as "mango skin" in the Bahamas, what does that mean?


A:  The person referred to is a light-skinned black person.


A:  Members of the merchant class elite in Nassau, the Bahamas capital. They were extremely influential in government and resisted adult suffrage until 1961.


Q:  Which island of the Bahamas provided underwater scenes for James Bond movies and Walt Disney's "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea?"


A:  New Providence. It is also the site of a large number of underwater wrecks, some of them planted there by film crews.


Q:  Why was the early history of  the islands of the Bahamas associated with buccaneering?


A:  The Bahamas,  located as they were along a major shipping lane, were ideal for buccaneering activity. Spanish ships, laden with plundered wealth from South and Central America passed through the islands on their way to Europe. Pirates found the islets and cays convenient hideouts while they waited in their attack ships for the Spanish galleons.


Q:  How did the people of the Abacos lure ships to destruction on sandbars and reefs?


A:  By swinging lanterns at night so that to passing ships it might appear that other ships were safely moored in what were really dangerous places. Captains falling for this ruse would soon be wrecked on the sandbars and reefs. The people of the Abacos would then proceed to plunder the distressed vessel.


BAHAMAS QUIZ