Connect with us


Today in History: January 5

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – On this day in Bahamian history, Jonquel Orthea Jones was born in Freeport, Grand Bahama on January 5, 1994.





NASSAU, BAHAMAS – On this day in Bahamian history, the King’s Pardon was issued to all pirates in The Bahamas in 1718, then known as the Pirates Republic.

The pardon granted clemency to all pirates for crimes committed before January 5, provided they surrender on or before September 5 of that year.

Then 232 years later, in 1950, George Ritchie Sandford was appointed governor and commander-in-chief. Sandford served less than a year following a fatal heart attack.

He was the first royal governor on record to die in The Bahamas and is buried at St. Matthew’s Anglican cemetery in Nassau.

Jonquel Orthea Jones was born in Freeport, Grand Bahama on January 5, 1994.

The now professional basketball player plays power forward/center most notably for the Connecticut Sun in her women’s national basketball association and two other European basketball teams.

In 2019 she helped lead the Sun to the WNBA finals where they were defeated in five games by the Washington Mystics.

Jones is credited for a $10,000 donation to hurricane Dorian relief efforts.

On January 5, 2000, hours before he was scheduled to hang, convicted murderer and well-known beautician John Higgs took his life in his prison cell.

He along with 27-year-old convicted murderer David Mitchell were scheduled to die the next day.

He was found by prison guards with a deep incision on his right wrist. 

Fifty-year-old Higgs was convicted in October 1995 for the July 1993 murder of his wife Joan.

Trial evidence revealed that Higgs murdered his wife in an argument and buried her body in a concrete stairwell, of an apartment block on Step Street in Fox Hill.

She was the granddaughter of Governor General Sir Milo Butler.

On appeal, he won a retrial but was convicted a second time on August 6, 1996.

A thank you letter from Higgs, mysteriously delivered to then talk show host Obie Wilchombe, was read on radio.

Wilchombe was later jailed for four days for contempt of court during a Coroner’s Inquest where he refused to reveal how he received the letter.

Then in 2004, taxi driver, trade unionist, politician, civil and political rights activist James Joseph Issac Shepherd died in New Providence.

Following the formation of the Progressive Liberal Party in 1953, as an active supporter and ran in the 1967 elections winning the St. Michael constituency.

In 1970, in a split within the PLP led Shepherd and 7 other PLP MPs moved a vote of no confidence against then Prime Minister Lynden Pindling.

They were expelled from the party when the motion failed and later merged with the United Bahamian Party to form the Free National Movement.

The party was founded at Shepherd’s home on Fox Hill Road on October 20, 1971.

The following year he lost his seat in the 1972 general election but continued to be a supporter and adviser of the FNM after retiring from frontline politics.

And finally, a state funeral at Zion Baptist Church was held on this day in 2012 for the late Sir Clifford Darling, the fourth Governor General of The Bahamas.

Sir Clifford died on December 27, 2011.  He was 89 years old.

Sir Clifford whose political career spanned some 30 years held the positions of senator, cabinet minister, deputy and speaker of the House of Assembly before being appointed Governor General on January 2, 1992.

In the 50s he was actively involved in the trade union movement as president and secretary general of the Bahamas Taxicab Union.  He played a leading role in the general strike of 1958 which blocked and closed the airport. 

Some two years after his death the life and times of Sir Clifford was depicted in a pictorial exhibition at the National Insurance Board headquarters, which his widow, Lady Ingrid Darling, opened and unveiled.

The complex housing the headquarters was named in his honor.