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Lynden Pindling and Milo Butler as they then were marching on Black Tuesday 27 April 1967

Saturday 27 April 2019 marked 54 years since the late Sir Lynden Pindling threw the Speaker’s Mace out of the window of the House of Assembly in protest at the drawing of the boundaries for the 21967 general election. The summary  below

Black Tuesday in The Bahamas

Black Tuesday 27th April 1965 was a special day in the history of our Party and our country. It was the day that the late Sir Lynden Pindling, the then Leader of the Opposition and later Prime Minister threw the Speaker’s mace from the east window of the House of Assembly to protest the gerrymandering boundaries by the then governing United Bahamian Party. The day is known in history as Black Tuesday. Tuesday 27th April 2010 is the 45th anniversary of Black Tuesday. The demonstration appeared to be spontaneous at the time but it was not. Throwing the mace out of the window was a carefully orchestrated plan by the PLP’s leaders at the time to demonstrate their position on the right to a fair and equal distribution of boundaries.

The election of 10th January 1967 was fought on the boundaries set in 1965. The PLP demonstrated against the backdrop of their loss in 1962 to the UBP which came about because the number of seats in the then called Out Islands exceeded the number of seats in New Providence where the majority of the population lived. That resulted in the PLP winning the popular vote in 1962 but losing the general election because they lost the seat count. The PLP determined that with the new Constitution of the country in place, the boundaries had to be fairly drawn.

The Mace as later repaired by the government from funds raised by the public. No prosecutions ensued from the event. But the event catapulted the then Leader of the Opposition Lynden Pindling into greater national prominence as a man of courage and foresight. The late Sir Milo Butler Sr. threw the Speaker’s hour glass out of window as a protest against the limitation of speaking time in the House.