i. Jamaica has the most “churches” per square mile of any country in the world. Source-Guinness Book of World Records. Over 1,600 “churches” all over Jamaica . That number is growing.
ii. 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!
iii. Jamaica is the first team from the English-speaking Caribbean to qualify for the Football (Soccer) World Cup. This was the 1998 championship.
iv. Jamaica stands strong in 3rd place on the list of countries to win the Miss World titles the most! [Hmmm!] The only countries to have won it more than Jamaica is India , Venezuela and the UK , but considering the size of Jamaica , you have to say that this achievement is monumental!
v. 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.
vi. Jamaica was the first commercial producer of bananas in the Western Hemisphere .
vii. Jamaica also was the first island in the Caribbean to produce rum on a commercial basis.
viii. The Manchester Golf Club in Jamaica , established in 1868, is the oldest in the western hemisphere!
ix. Apart from the United States, Jamaica has won the most world and olympic medals.
x. 2006-2007: World Fastest man and woman- you bet, are Jamaicans [Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson].
xi. Jamaica has more multiple (two or more) live births than anywhere else in the world.
xii. Jamaica was the first country to impose economic sanctions against the apartheid regime of South Africa.
xiii. Jamaica is the third largest island in the Caribbean.
xiv. Jamaica was the first Caribbean island to enact legislation, “The Motion Picture Industry (Encouragement) Act” to promote the making of films.
xv. Jamaica is the first country to sign a Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria grant agreement.
xvi. Jamaica was the first tropical country to enter the IOC Winter Olympics. The bobsleigh team’s efforts inspired the film ‘Cool Runnings’.
xvii. Jamaica was the first colony England acquired by conquest. This was in the year 1655 when the Spanish were driven from the island.
xviii. We have the second largest butterfly in the world (The Giant Swallowtail).
xix. Another of the interesting facts on Jamaica is that it was the first British colonial territory to establish a postal service (in 1688).
xx. Jamaica was the first Caricom country to liberalize the telecommunications sector. Since then, other Caricom countries have opened up to competition.
xxi. Another one I found to be one of the most interesting facts on Jamaica is that Jamaica was the first country in the Caribbean region to launch a web site, jamaicatravel.com. This was in 1994!
xxii. And if you know none of the above, (which is fine) I expect you at least know that Jamaica is the birth place of Robert (“Bob”) Marley [smile]
xxiii. Port Royal in Jamaica was once labeled ‘The wickedest city on Earth’.
xxiv. The Jamaican Flag is the ONLY flag in the world, that doesn’t share any of the colors of the American flag.