Independence Day in the Gambia Date in the current year: February 18, 2016

Independence Day in the Gambia The Gambians annually celebrate Independence Day on February 18. This holiday celebrates achievement of independence from Great Britain in 1965.

The Gambia was discovered by the Portuguese, who reached this area by sea, in the middle of the 15th century. However, the Portuguese throne sold exclusive trade rights on the Gambia River to English merchants, that is why the majority of country was under British rule.

The present boundaries of the country were established in 1889, when British signed an agreement with the French Republic. The Gambia became a British Crown colony and called British Gambia.

The constitutional reforms, adopted after the World War II, led to the general elections in 1962. The United Kingdom granted the country full internal self-governance in the following year. The Gambia became totally independent from the United Kingdom only on February 18, 1965. It received the status of constitutional monarchy within the Commonwealth. Following a second referendum, the country has changed its name to the Republic of the Gambia in 1970.

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