Around the World in 62 Days: Day 6 – 14

Around the World in 62 Days

There are many celebrations happening around the world this week!  Check out these national holidays or independence days! You are bound to learn a lot!

July 6


Lithuania – King Mindaugas Day200px-Flag_of_Lithuania.svg

Also known as Statehood Day.  Celebrated Officially since 1991, this day commemorates the coronation of the only King of Lithuania, King Mindaugas.  Although the exact date of the coronation is unknown, this date was chosen based on the hypothesis of Edvardas Gudavicius in 1989.


Comoros – Independence from France in 1975 200px-Flag_of_the_Comoros.svg

A small island nation off the coast of Africa (with an estimated population of 798,000) has the unique distinction of being the only state to be a member of the African Union, Francophonie, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Arab League and the Indian Ocean Commission. The country has experienced several Coup D’etats since independence and this has kept about half of the population below the international poverty line.  The island of Mayotte is geographically a part of this archipelago, but is still administered by France.


Malawi – Independence from the United Kingdom in 1964Flag_of_Malawi.svg

Colonized by the British in 1891, Nyasaland joined the Central African Federation (CAF) and gained partial independence in 1953.  In 1964 (after the dissolution of the CAF), Nyasaland gained full independence and changed its name to Malawi.  Since 1993, Malawi has operated as a multi-party democracy and 2014 marks its next elections.



July 7



Cayman Islands – Constitution Day (First Monday of July) Flag_of_the_Cayman_Islands.svg

The Cayman Islands, located in the western Caribbean Sea, are a British Overseas Territory. They (along with Jamaica with whom they were combined) have been formally under British control since 1670 and were governed under Jamaica until 1962 when they became a separate Crown Colony.  The Cayman Islands have historically been a tax exempt destination as well as being a major world offshore financial centre.  Constitution Day has been celebrated since July 4th, 1959 when the first written constitution came into effect.  This year, Constitution Day will be celebrated with a “spectacular fireworks display”.


Solomon Islands – Independence from the United Kingdom in 1978200px-Flag_of_the_Solomon_Islands.svg

An archipelago in Oceania.  Inhabited for thousands of years, it was finally discovered by Europeans in 1568 when Álvaro de Mendaña found it.  Named for the biblical King Solomon.  In 1893, the United Kingdom had established a protectorate over the area.  Self government was achieved in 1976 and independence in 1978.  Part of a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as the Queen of Solomon Islands.



Copy of July 9



ArgentinaIndependence from the Spanish Empire in 1816 200px-Flag_of_Argentina.svg

Colonized by Spain in 1512, a fight for independence was fought from 1810-1818 with independence declared in 1816.  Following the War of Independence, Argentina fell into a long civil war.  Eventually the country was re-organized and by the early 20th century, was ranked as the 7th wealthiest developed nation.  In the mid 1900s, Argentina fell into political instability and declined into an underdeveloped nation.


Palau – Constitution Day200px-Flag_of_Palau.svg

Palau established the world’s first Nuclear Free constitution in 1981.  This meant that no nuclear weapons could be used, stored or disposed of without first being approved by a 3/4 majority in a referendum. In 1994 “nuclear free” was dropped in order to become an associated state to the U.S. – a necessary move as this country of approximately 21,000 people does not have a standing military and rely on the United States for all defence.


South Sudan – Independence from Sudan in 2011Flag_of_South_Sudan.svg

South Sudan became an independent state in 2011 after an overwhelming majority voted for separation from Sudan.  Since independence, South Sudan has become a UN member state, a member of the African Union and signed the Geneva Convention.  Currently involved in a civil war (2013 – current), leaving some 800,000 South Sudanese displaced.



July 10

Bahamas – Independence from the United Kingdom in 1973Flag_of_the_Bahamas.svg

Made up of 700 islands, cays and inlets and a population of 319,000, the Bahamas became a British colony in 1718.  They became an independent Commonwealth Realm in 1973.  Queen Elizabeth II still heads this parliamentary monarchy.




July 11


MongoliaNaadam Holiday (Declaration of Independence from China, 1921) Flag_of_Mongolia.svg

Bolshevik Russia supported the establishment of a communist government and army in Mongolia.  With help from Russian troops, Mongolia was able to declare independence from China on July 11, 1921.  The events leading up to independence became the basis of close ties with Russia, which lasted for several decades.  Naadam is the main National Festival (it has been organized for centuries) but now honours the anniversary of independence. Activities consist of archery, horse racing and wrestling.




São Tomé & Príncipe – Independence from Portugal in 1975200px-Flag_of_Sao_Tome_and_Principe.svg

An island nation in the Gulf of Guinea (off the western equatorial coast in Africa) is the smallest Portuguese speaking country and the second smallest African country.  The 2 islands were discovered in 1471 and 1472, respectfully and the pair were settled in 1493 by the Portuguese.  July 12, 1975 brought independence to the islands. In 1990 they embraced democratic reform and legalized opposition parties, which led to nonviolent, free and transparent elections in 1991.

Kiribati – Independence from the United Kingdom in 1979200px-Flag_of_Kiribati.svg

In 1892, the Gilbert Islands agreed to become a British Protectorate along with other islands.  In 1971, the Gilbert and Ellice Islands gained self rule as a combined nation and separated in 1975.  The Gilbert Islands became independent in 1979 and became known as Kiribati.

North IrelandBattle of Boyne Day200px-Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom.svg

Fought in 1690 between the Catholic James VII & II and the Protestant William III & II, rival claimants to the English, Scottish and Irish thrones.  The battle took place on what was July 1, 1690 under the Julian Calendar, but is now known as July 11th.  The decisive Battle of Aughrim was fought one year later on July 12th, which is not the commemoration day of the battle.  The win by William kept James from regaining the crown.  The battle is also a key part of the Orange Order’s folklore.




July 13


July 13
Montenegro – Recognized as Independent at Congress of Berlin in 1878200px-Flag_of_Montenegro.svg

Located in South Eastern Europe.  The Treaty of Berlin formally recognized the independence of the de facto sovereign principalities of Romania, Serbia and Montenegro.  Proclaimed as a Kingdom in 1910 by Prince Nicholas (King Nicholas I) who had been ruling since 1860.  Since then they have joined Yugoslavia, become independent and are now a parliamentary republic.  The history of Montenegro is fascinating, complex and intriguing – well worth a read.  Bet you can’t read just one Wikipedia page!!!




July  14


FranceBastille Day and Fête de la Fédération
Flag_of_France.svgMayotteBastille Day
RéunionBastille Day
GuadeloupeBastille Day




MartiniqueBastille Day 200px-Flag_of_Martinique.svg





French GuianaBastille Day200px-Flag_of_French_Guiana.svg





New CaledoniaBastille DayFlag_of_New_Caledonia.svg




St Pierre et Miquelon  – Bastille Day 200px-Flag_of_Saint-Pierre_and_Miquelon.svg




Bastille Day commemorates the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789 by the people of Paris after Jacques Necker was dismissed from the National Constituent Assembly on July 11 by Louis XVI.  This battle led to the abolition of feudalism in August 1789.  Starting on July 14, 1790, the French have been celebrating Fête de la Fédération.  A militay parade has been held each year since 1880 on the morning of July 14th.  It has become the oldest and largest regular military parade in Europe.

Many former colonies still follow France‘s celebrations to capture and illustrate the French side of their interwoven histories.


ryanlerch_Green_-_Query_IconDid you know??

While busy celebrating Canada Day, I missed a few other special events – yikes!  Here are the ones that I know I missed!








July 1


Hong KongTransfer of Sovereignty to PRC in 1997 Flag_of_Hong_Kong_(1959-1997).svg

Known internationally as “the Handover, July 1, 1997 marked the transfer of sovereignty to the People’s Republic of China.  Although Hong Kong Island and Kowloon had been ceded to the United Kingdom in perpetuity, the “new territories” only had a 99 year lease.  The three territories grew and developed together and by 1997 it was impractical to split them up as the new territories were important to Hong Kong’s economic development.



Madeira – Autonomy from Portugal

A Portuguese Archipelago in the North Atlantic that was claimed in 1419 and settled in 1420, it has since become a popular year-round resort.  Following the democratic revolution of 1974, Portugal granted political autonomy on July 1, 1976 which is now known as Madeira Day.

(British) Virgin IslandsFlag_of_the_British_Virgin_Islands.svg

Commonly referred to as the British Virgin Islands (to distinguish them from the American or Spanish Virgin Islands) is a British Overseas Territory.  They became autonomous on July 1, 1967.



July 2

Part of the Kingdom of the NetherlandsCuraço was granted autonomy to a certain degree with its own parliament, although they are still dependent on the Netherlands for matters like foreign policy and defence.  The first elected island council was brought in on July 2, 1954.  On July 2, 1984, the council inaugurated the National Flag and National Anthem.



July 5 (1)


Isle of ManTynwald Day Flag_of_the_Isle_of_Man.svg

The National Day of the Isle of Man.  On this day the legislature (Tynwald) meet at St John’s – partly in the Royal Chapel of St. John and partly in the open air on Tynwald.  All bills that have Royal Assent are promulgated on Tynwald Day.  This event was first recorded in 1417.

If you’ve had fun learning about these countries this week, you might be interested in learning more through these courses:

Where we’ve been so far…

places weve been so far day 1 - 14

​Join us next Tuesday when we cover Days Fifteen to Twenty One in our Around the World in 62 Days series.  We will visit Slovakia, Columbia and Belgium…just to name a few! Let’s see how many more stamps we can add to our virtual passport together!

Around the World in 62 Days: Days One to Five

Around the World in 62 Days
Welcome to Around the World in 62 Days!  During July and August, we are going to explore Independence Day – not just in the United States, but around the world in 53 countries! Along the way, we will discover things about the country, their history, and with a little luck, ourselves.  Join us on this expedition every Tuesday this summer- no passport required!

July 1



220px-Flag_of_Canada.svg (1)

At 9.98 million square kilometres in size, Canada is the world’s second-largest country in the world (by total area). This North American country boasts a population of 35.5 million.  Canada gained its independence from Britain in a typically peaceful manner on July 1st, 1867 via the British North America Act.  The Canada Act in 1982 severed the final vestiges of legal dependence on the British Parliament.  Most communities will celebrate Canada Day by hosting organized, outdoor  public events such as parades, carnivals, festivals, BBQs, air and/or maritime shows, fireworks and free musical concerts – or some mix thereof. Citizenship ceremonies are frequently hosted for new citizens.  Ottawa, the capital of Canada, will host a televised event consisting of concerts and addresses by many Canadians, ending with a fantastic fireworks show.



With a population of 8.7 million and a size of 27,834km2, the African nation of Burundi will ,celebrate its independence from Belgium, which occurred in 1962. This day sees political leaders making speeches about past and future, military parading to tunes of marching band, gymnasts diving through burning hoops, and people indulging in traditional drumming and dancing.




Rwanda will also remember it’s independence from Belgium (1962) on July 1st.  Interestingly, they also celebrate a Liberation Day on July 4th.  Each date has its own significance and each should be studied carefully.  This African country has an area of 26,338 km2 and a population of 12 million.  John Kerry has issued a statement of best wishes for the 52nd anniversary of Rwandan independence – see it here!




Somalia, a country located on the Horn of Africa consists of 10 million people in an area of 637,657 square kilometres. July 1st represents the independence of both the former Italian Somaliland and British Somaliland and the unity of these two nations.  Somalia was formerly best known as the Land of Punt by the Egyptians and in the Bible. In recent history, Somalia has been associated with pirates, warlords and the militia.  First nation countries dumped their chemical waste in their waters, ruining the fishing industry and turning peaceful fisherman into pirates who, in turn, disrupted many international trade routes and singlehandedly increased the cost of wages, insurance and security for any company shipping near the Horn of Africa.  Independence day is celebrated with speakers from the government, musicians, invited guests and many others participating in ceremonies.  If you would like to learn more about Somalia, you should check out Analysing Global Trends for Business and Society for some fantastic insight!


July 3




Belarus is a European nation that celebrates Independence day on July 3rd but in this case, they are celebrating the independence of the country, but of Minsk from German Occupation in 1944.  The decision to celebrate Independence Day on July 3, the day of the liberation of Belarus from the Nazis, was made during the 1996 national referendum proposed by President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko. The Independence Day celebrations also include military and civil processions, concerts, and other festivities throughout the country. The day finally comes to an end with a display of fireworks gracing the sky.  There are approximately 9.5 million people living within the 207,595 km2 that makes up Belarus.


July 4

United States


Independence Day in the United States is often portrayed as the quintessential celebration of life, liberty and freedom.  Although declared in 1776, Independence wasn’t completely gained from Great Britain until 1783.  The United States of America is 9,826,675 km2 – making it the third or fourth largest country in the world (it’s often debated whether the USA or China is in third place for size) and houses at least 318 million people – making it the most populous country celebrating its Independence this week!  The Fourth of July is celebrated in various ways around the country. Celebrations comprise of parades, BBQs, fireworks, carnivals, fairs, concerts, political speeches and ceremonies all in praise of the freedom and greatness of the country.


July 5 (1)





Venezuela is a South American country that will be celebrating 203 years of independence from Spain in 2014!  Consisting of 28 million people in an area of 916,445 km2, Venezuelans will be celebrating with fireworks, family gatherings, cultural shows, street parties, and parades.




Algeria is our last stop this week! This African nation is the tenth largest in the world – coming in at 2,381,741 km2! With 38.7 million people there is bound to be a diverse and interesting culture! Independence day is celebrated with passion – with Algerians taking to the streets and attending celebrations wearing the national colour – green!  There are military parades in Algiers and concerts and cultural events are organized in the national stadium.  Algeria gained its independence from France in 1962.


ryanlerch_Green_-_Query_IconDid you know?

Detroit, Michigan, and Windsor, Ontario, have, since the 1950s, celebrated both Canada Day and the United States’ Independence Day with the International Freedom Festival; a massive fireworks display over the Detroit River, the strait separating the two cities, is held annually with hundreds of thousands of spectators attending. A similar event occurs at the Friendship Festival, a joint celebration between Fort Erie, Ontario, and neighbouring Buffalo, New York, and towns and villages throughout Maine, New Brunswick, and Quebec come together to celebrate both anniversaries together.




Want to learn more about Global issues? There are several courses available that are of particular interest – to share just a few this week:

Join us next Tuesday when we cover Days Six to Fourteen in our Around the World in 62 Days series.  We will visit Lithuania, Malawi, Argentina, Bahamas and South Sudan…just to name a few! Let’s see how many more stamps we can add to our virtual passport together!