Sunday, March 06, 2011

Pop History Moment: Ghana Celebrates Its Independence

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On this day in 1957 the people of the British colonies of Gold Coast, the Empire of Ashanti and British Togoland joined to become the first black country in Africa to celebrate the end of colonial rule and a new era of independence; the newly minted nation was to be given its old name - Ghana. Tens of thousands of newly-minted Ghanaians took advantage of a nationwide holiday to join their new Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah at the festivities in Accra, the capital, which a decade earlier had been the site of nationalist rioting.

To do the duty, the Palace sent the Queen's beloved aunt, Marina, Duchess of Kent, who unveiled the Independence Monument in addition to the usual lowering of the Union Jack and raising of the new flag which is the symbolic centrepiece of most such ceremonies. She was also present at the swearing-in of the country's new Governor-General, Sir Charles Noble Arden-Clarke. His position would be abolished three years later when Ghana severed its ties with the Commonwealth at the beginning of its inevitable descent into chaos and corruption, a trend not reversed until the election of the current President, John Kufuor, in 2001.

Her Royal Highness is shown here in her Coronation Portrait, taken just a few years earlier, in 1953.
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1 comment:

TheQuestionMan said...

A proud day for some and a sad day for others. The British Empire's Colonialism always struck me as not a bad idea, but poorly executed.