Record ID: 61

Site Name

Bermuda

Type

Islands

Description

[32N/65W] British crown colony (21 sq miles; 1991 pop. 58,460), comprising some 150 coral rocks, islets, and isls. (of which some 20 are inhabited), in the Atlantic Ocean, c.570 miles SE of Cape Hatteras, N.C.; (cap.)� Reputedly the 1st person to set foot here was the Span. navigator Juan de Berm�dez (1503�1511), but they remained uninhabited, despite visits by Spaniards and Englishmen, until Sir George Somers and a group of colonists on their way to Va. were shipwrecked here in 1609. This incident was known to Shakespeare when he wrote The Tempest.

Long called Somers Isls., the Bermudas were 1st governed by chartered companies but were acquired by the crown in 1684. The harbor of St. George was a base for privateers during the War of 1812, and the isl. was a center for Confederate blockade runners during the Amer. Civil War� The U.S., under a 99-year lease, operates a naval and air force base� Four foreign-held military bases used to track Soviet submarines in the North Atlantic were closed in the mid-1990�s and returned to the govt. of Bermuda. Southside, the former U.S. Naval air station adjoining Bermuda�s airport, is to be developed as a port, relocating Hamilton�s container terminal�