St Kitts was visited in 1493 by Christopher Columbus. The islands were colonized by English settlers from 1623, becoming the first successful English colony in the West Indies. A self-governing union between St Kitts and Nevis (and briefly Anguilla) was created in 1967 and became a fully independent member of the Commonwealth in 1983
St Kitts, alteration (by settlers) of St Christopher, a name given to the island by Columbus; Nevis from Spanish las nieves 'the snows' (because of the ‘snowy’ clouds surrounding the peak).
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