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By Beachcomber, retrieved from Wikipedia
Nov 1, 2003, 21:38
Bermuda is a self-governing island Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom, situated in the Atlantic Ocean.
In the early 20th century, as modern transportation and communication systems developed, Bermuda became a popular destination for wealthy US, Canadian, and British tourists. In addition, the tariff enacted by the United States against its trading partners in 1930 cut off Bermuda's once-thriving agricultural export trade--primarily fresh vegetables to the US--spurring the overseas territory to develop its tourist industry, which is second behind international business in terms of economic importance to the island.
During World War II, Bermuda became important as a military base because of its location in the Atlantic Ocean. In 1941, the United States signed a lend-lease agreement with the United Kingdom giving the British surplus U.S. Navy destroyers in exchange for 99-year lease rights to establish naval and air bases in Bermuda. The bases consisted of 5.8 square kilometers (2.25 sq. mi.) of land largely reclaimed from the sea. The US Naval Air Station was on St. David's Island, while the US Naval Air Station Annex was at the western end of the island in the Great Sound.
Effective September 1, 1995, both bases were closed, as were British and Canadian bases on the island. Unresolved issues concerning the 1995 withdrawal of US forces-- primarily related to environmental factors--delayed the formal return of the base lands to the Government of Bermuda. The United States formally returned the base lands in 2002.
There are two incorporated municipalities in Bermuda; the City of Hamilton,
and the Town of St George. There are also a number of localities which are
sometimes termed villages, among them Flatts and Somerset.
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