The Bahamas were first inhabited by the Lucayans, a branch of the Arawak, in the 7th century.. In 1492, Christopher Columbus made his first landfall in the Western Hemisphere at San Salvador Island (also known as Watley Island) in the Bahamas, finding at least 30,000 Lucayans living in the archipelago. The Spanish completely depopulated the islands by kidnapping its inhabitants to work as slaves in the gold mines of Hispaniola, but the Spanish never colonized the Bahamas. During the 17th century “golden age” of piracy, the Bahamas were a favorite home base for numerous buccaneers, including Blackbeard, Henry Morgan, Charles Vane, and Anne Bonney. In 1647, English Puritans from Bermuda began to colonize Eleuthera Island, and by 1717 the Bahamas were a crown colony of the British Empire, a status that persisted until self-rule began in 1964, followed by independence within the British Commonwealth in 1973.
Having mingled with politicians and celebrities her entire life, Nicole A. Avant made herself into one of the most powerful fundraisers in Los Angeles. And after helping President Barack Obama rake in millions of dollars from Southern California’s wealthy, Avant won an extended vacation known as the U.S. ambassadorship to the Bahamas. She was sworn in on September 9, 2009, and resigned in November 2011, in order to return to raising money for President Obama's presidential campaign.