Grenada -- the smallest nation in the Caribbean -- became independent on Thursday (7 February), but not without Opposition efforts to delay the break with British colonial rule.
GV Crowds dance through streets (3 shots)
GV Canadian and British warships in st. George's harbour
SV Lowering of Union Jack at night by British Navy
SCU Raising of new Grenada flag
SCU Mr. Gairy reading speech
GV Fireworks (3 shots)
GTV Guard of honour and crowds outside Parliament building during day
SV Gairy arrives, waves to crowd, enters Parliament
SV Guard of honour
SV INT Judges and Member of Parliament
SV Governor General Sir Leo De Gale hands document to Mr. Gairy
GTV Crowds outside Parliament building
TV Mr. Gairy shakes hands with Sir Leo
GV Pageant PAN TO crowds dancing in stadium (2 shots)
Initials BB/2100 NC/AW/BB/2113
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Background: Grenada -- the smallest nation in the Caribbean -- became independent on Thursday (7 February), but not without Opposition efforts to delay the break with British colonial rule.
The various ceremonies marking independence took place in darkness-- power, light and telephone services were shut down by strikers, who tried for several weeks to force Prime Minister Mr. Eric Gairy to resign.
The independence programme, including a fireworks display, dancing and sporting events, went throughsmoothly, although many evening celebrations were abandoned because of the lack of light.
The high point came at midnight on Wednesday (6 February) when the British flag was lowered, and the red, green and gold flag of the new Republic was raised.
The island's Governor General, Sir Leo De Gale, was sworn in at the beginning of the official ceremonies on Thursday.
Shortly before the flag-raising ceremony, police arrested the leader of the opposition New Jewel Movement, Mr. Maurice Bishop. He was held overnight and charged with illegal possession of arms. Later, Mr. Gairy alleged that plans to assassinate him were found in Mr. Bishop's home.
The New Jewel Movement has expressed strong opposition to independence under Mr. Gairy's rule, and made various attempts to delay the move.