Independence Day of Sierra Leone occurs on April 27 annually. Sierra Leone, officially known as the Republic of Sierra Leone and colloquially as Salone, is a country on the southwest coast of Africa. Sierra Leone is a constitutional republic with a single-chamber legislature. Sierra Leone was established by the British Crown in two phases: the coastal Sierra Leone Colony and the inland Protectorate. The country and its borders have been inhabited for millennia. In 1961, following its declaration of independence from the United Kingdom, the country was renamed British Sierra Leone and became a commonwealth realm.
The background of Independence Day of Sierra Leone
According to archaeological evidence, Sierra Leone has been continuously inhabited for at least 2,500 years by diverse African societies. European relations with Sierra Leone were among the earliest in West Africa during the 15th century. In 1462, the Portuguese navigator Pedro de Sintra charted the hills encircling what is now known as the Freetown Harbour and gave them the names Serra da Leoa and Serra Leoa.
Following the emancipation of American slaves during the American War of Independence, the British came to play a significant role in Sierra Leone as a commercial port and safe haven for freed American slaves. In 1787, Freetown, the capital, was founded as a space for repatriated former slaves. The British colonised Sierra Leone in the early 1800s. In 1807, after the British Parliament passed a law prohibiting the slave trade, the new colony was used as a base for enforcing the law.
The Sierra Leone People’s Party (S.L.P.P.) was founded in 1951 and gained control of local government in 1953. In May 1957, the first parliamentary elections were conducted, and Sir Milton Margai of the S.L.P.P. won the most seats. A succession of discussions were held in April 1960, and as a result, Sierra Leone gained independence from the United Kingdom on April 27, 1961, at midnight. This brought an end to over 150 years of British colonial rule. During a ceremony at Brookfields Playground in Freetown, where the nation’s new flag was unfurled in front of applauding audiences, the Duke of Kent presented royal documents recognising Sierra Leone as an independent nation.
5 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT SIERRA LEONE
Sierra Leone is widely recognised for its blood diamonds.
The majority of the population of Sierra Leone consumes rice at nearly every meal as their primary source of nutrition.
In 1987, the “Taste of Paradise” advertisement for Bounty chocolate bars was filmed in Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone descended into a decade-long civil conflict in 1991.
The cotton tree is one of Freetown’s most famous and historically significant landmarks.
SIERRA LEONE INDEPENDENCE DAY DATES