Tidbits About Jamaica

Do you know of other extraordinary fun tidbits about Jamaica? What about other accomplishments of Caribbean islands? If you do, please send them to cbtuontario@gmail.com for us to share with the membership.

Fun Facts About Jamaica

Jamaica had electricity in 1892, long before most of the United States.

Falmouth had running water before New York City.

Jamaica had phone cards before the United States.

Their phone system was so sophisticated it was copied by AT&T.

Jamaica has the most “churches” per square mile of any country in the world, with over 1,600 “churches” all over Jamaica. Source: Guinness Book of World Records. That number is growing.

Jamaica was the first country in the Western world to construct a railway, even before the United States. This was only 18 years after Britain.

Although Haiti was the first Caribbean nation to gain independence in 1804 from France, Jamaica is the first Caribbean Country to gain Independence from the British West Indies colonies in 1962, resulting in the collapse of the West Indies Federation.

Jamaica is the first team from the English-speaking Caribbean to qualify for the Football (Soccer) World Cup. This was the 1998 championship.

The only countries to have won more Miss World titles than Jamaica are India, Venezuela and the UK, but considering the size of Jamaica, you have to say that this achievement is monumental.

On his second voyage to the New World in 1494, the tip of the Blue Mountains in Jamaica was the first land sighted by Christopher Columbus.

Jamaica was the first commercial producer of bananas in the Western Hemisphere.

Jamaica also was the first island in the Caribbean to produce rum on a commercial basis.

The Manchester Golf Club in Jamaica, established in 1868, is the oldest in the western hemisphere.

2006-2007: World Fastest man and woman were both Jamaicans (Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson)

2008/2009 – Olympic/World fastest man and woman were also both Jamaicans (Usain Bolt and Shelley-Ann Fraser )

Jamaica has more multiple (two or more) live births than anywhere else in the world.

Jamaica was the first country to impose economic sanctions against the apartheid regime of South Africa.

Jamaica is the third largest island in the Caribbean.

Jamaica was the first Caribbean island to enact legislation, “The Motion Picture Industry (Encouragement) Act” to promote the making of films.

Jamaica is the first country to sign a Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria grant agreement.

Jamaica was the first tropical country to enter the IOC Winter Olympics. The bob sleigh team’s efforts inspired the film ‘Cool Runnings’.

Jamaica was the first colony England acquired by conquest. This was in the year 1655 when the Spanish were driven from the island.

We have the second largest butterfly in the world (The Giant Swallowtail).

Another of the interesting facts on Jamaica is that it was the first British colonial territory to establish a postal service (in 1688).

Jamaica was the first Caricom country to liberalize the telecommunications sector. Since then, other Caricom countries have opened up to competition.

Interestingly, Jamaica was the first country in the Caribbean region to launch a web site, www.jamaicatravel.com, in 1994.

And of course, Jamaica is the birth place of reggae legend Robert (“Bob”) Marley!