Today is Republic Day in Trinidad and Tobago, a public holiday celebrating their becoming a republic in 1976 and ceasing to be a Commonwealth realm.
By WILLIAM HARTSTON
- Actually they did that on August 1, 1976. September 24 was when their first parliament met.
- Tobago got its name from its resemblance to a tobacco pipe (tavaco) used by local natives.
- At London 2012, Trinidad and Tobago came third in Olympic medals per head of population, beaten only by Grenada and Jamaica.
- In 2012, the Trinidad moruga “Scorpion” pepper was rated the hottest pepper in the world at 1.2 million Scoville units.
- Trinidad and Tobago is the only country whose capital city is named after another country: Port of Spain.
The novelist VS Naipaul was born in Trinidad. He is the country’s only Nobel Prize winner.
Pitch Lake in Trinidad is the world’s largest natural asphalt deposit covering almost 100 acres 245 feet deep.
- In the Americas, only the USA and Canada have a higher GDP per head than Trinidad and Tobago.
- Calypso music, steel drum bands and limbo dancing all originated in Trinidad and Tobago.
- Until 10,000 years ago, Trinidad and Tobago were both part of the South American mainland.