Barbados, an island nation in the Caribbean situated about 100 miles (160 km) east of the Windward Islands, had gained internal self-rule in 1961 and achieved its full independence from Britain on this day in 1966.
The island remained a British possession without interruption from its settlement in the 17th century to 1966, when it attained independence. As the first Caribbean landfall from Europe, Barbados has functioned since the late 17th century as a major link between western Europe (mainly Britain), eastern Caribbean territories, and parts of the South American mainland.
Because of its long association with Britain, the culture of Barbados is probably more British than that of any other Caribbean island. Since independence, however, cultural nationalism and regional awareness have tended to increase.