Tanzania Independence Day is observed every year on 9 December.
The day celebrates the end of British rule in Tanganyika in 1961, which comprised the mainland part of present-day Tanzania; the sovereign state existed from 1961 until 1964.
Tanzania, officially the United Republic of Tanzania, is a country in East Africa within the African Great Lakes region.
The first European to visit the country was Vasco da Gama in 1498.
European colonialism in the region began on mainland Tanzania during the late 19th century when Germany formed the German East Africa.
Following World War I, the mainland came under British control and was ruled as Tanganyika, with the nearby island of Zanzibar remaining a separate colonial jurisdiction.
Tanzania’s independence movement started in 1954, led by Julius Nyerere, who co-founded the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU).
Nyerere was educated in Uganda and Scotland and began voicing his anti-colonial, Africanist political agenda upon return to his country. He was inspired by the non-violent independence movement waged by Mahatma Gandhi in India and advocated for a similar resistance in Tanganyika.
Elected to the General Council in the national elections of 1958–59, Nyerere later became the first President of an independent Tanganyika in 1961.
The state became a Republic and a member of Commonwealth the following year, and finally merged with Zanzibar in 1964. This is when the name of the country finally changed to Tanzania.