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Gambia Independence Day
February 18, 2016
An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 18 of February, repeating indefinitely
The Republic of the Gambia became an independent nation on February 18, 1965. They were the last of the British colonies in Africa to gain independence. The Gambia adopted the motto of “Progress, Peace, Prosperity” following its independence and has been celebrating the Independence Day of Gambia as a national holiday.
The Gambia was the first African nation to be colonized by the British. The Duke and Duchess of Kent were present at the handover of power to the Gambian people. The British had ruled the country for over 300 years. On the eve of February 18, 1965, the Duke and Duchess celebrated with the 35 Gambian chiefs. At the stroke of midnight, Gambia became the smallest African nation. The British Union Jack was lowered and was replaced with the Gambian national flag. Gambia subsequently became a member of the United Nations and Commonwealth.
The Independence Day of The Gambia is celebrated with great fanfare. Official celebrations are held at McCarthy Square in the capital Banjul. Parades are organized by the army, civil servants, and school children. The President and other important dignitaries are present at the celebrations.