Author:
Stephanie Chalana Brown
Subject:
Health, Medicine and Nursing, Virgin Islands History, Virgin Islands Culture
Material Type:
Lecture Notes, Student Guide
Level:
Upper Primary, Middle School, High School
Tags:
  • Melvin Herbert Evans
  • MelvinEvans
  • VI Governor
  • VI History
  • VIHistory
  • Virgin Islands History
  • Virginislands
  • melvin-herbert-evans
  • vi-governor
  • vi-history
  • virgin-islands-history
    License:
    Creative Commons Attribution
    Language:
    English
    Media Formats:
    Audio, Graphics/Photos, Video

    Education Standards

    Melvin Herbert Evans is the Virgin Islands' first elected Governor

    Melvin Herbert Evans is the Virgin Islands' first elected Governor

    Overview

    Melvin Herbert Evans is the Virgin Islands' first elected governor. Evans graduated from Howard University with a B.S. in 1940 and from the Howard College of Medicine with an M.D. four years later, following graduation from high school on St. Thomas. He then worked in a variety of medical and public health positions for the United States and the Virgin Islands.

    “Melvin H. Evans Day”

    Melvin Herbert Evans is the Virgin Islands' first-elected governor. He was born in Christiansted, St. Croix, Virgin Islands, on August 7, 1917, shortly after the U.S. purchased the island from Denmark. Evans graduated from Howard University in 1970 with a B.S. degree and from the Howard College of Medicine with an M.D. four years later, following graduation from high school on St. Thomas. He then worked in a variety of medical and public health positions for the United States and the Virgin Islands.

     
    Evans served as a second lieutenant in the United States Medical Administrative Corps from 1942 until 1945. He also served as the Islands' health commissioner from 1959 to 1967. He returned to private practice for two years until President Nixon nominated him Governor of the Islands in July 1969. In November 1970, he was elected Governor. 
     
    Evans was elected to the House in 1978 and sworn in as a member of the 96th Congress on January 3, 1979. Evans sponsored legislation that would let foreign physicians practice in local health facilities, addressing the Islands' severe physician shortage. Highway 66 in the US Virgin Islands is a major east–west thoroughfare on St. Croix. The highway is named in honor of the territory's first-elected governor, Melvin H. Evans.
     
     

    Short Documentary by WTJX Channel 12's "The Governors: Melvin H. Evans"

    WTJX Channel 12's The Governors: Melvin H. Evans

    The Governors: Melvin H. Evans

    The third installment of The Governors docu-series explores the life of the last appointed and first elected governor of the United States Virgin Islands, Melvin H. Evans. The documentary begins from his early days before college all the way to his death in 1984. Follow along as his son, running mates, political staff and colleagues share stories and impressions of this amazing Virgin Islander from his medical practice to the political arena.

    Student Handout: Key Points from Documentary on "The Governors: Melvin H. Evans"

    1. Political Challenges within the Democratic Party: The documentary notes internal complexities and challenges within the Democratic Party.

    2. Legislative Process for Appointments: It highlights the procedural aspects of political appointments, including the need for legislative ratification.

    3. Strategic Political Maneuvering: The documentary reveals strategic planning to secure necessary votes for political appointments, demonstrating political tactics.

    4. Addressing Community Issues: Issues such as the establishment of white schools in black communities and talent recruitment from public schools are examined, showing the intersection of education and politics.

    5. Governor Evans' Administration: Focus areas like health, education, housing, and road infrastructure are outlined, reflecting governance priorities.

    6. Integration of Immigrant Workers: Governor Evans' efforts to integrate immigrant workers for infrastructure support are noted, highlighting immigration's role in economic development.

    7. Industrialization Initiatives: The administration's pursuit of industrialization, including watch and drug manufacturing, is discussed to demonstrate economic strategy.

    8. Educational Access for Immigrant Children: A landmark court decision allowing immigrant students to attend public schools is mentioned, showcasing educational policy evolution.

    9. Building Infrastructure for a Growing Population: Challenges in accommodating a fast-growing immigrant community are highlighted, emphasizing responsive governance.

    10. Social and Racial Dynamics: The documentary discusses social and racial tensions arising from immigrant community integration, underlining the complexities of social change.

    11. Economic Impact of Fountain Valley Incident: The significant impact of the Fountain Valley incident on tourism and Saint Croix's economy is detailed, illustrating the interplay between security and economic stability.

    12. Cabinet Contention and Resignation: The resignation of Lieutenant Governor David E. Moss and subsequent political maneuvers are noted, highlighting internal political dynamics.