Sierra Leone celebrates Independence Day every year on 27 April.
The Republic of Sierra Leone is a country on the southwest coast of West Africa. It shares its southeastern border with Liberia, and the northern half is surrounded by Guinea.
The country has been continuously inhabited for over 2,500 years, with various societies migrating from other parts of Africa, as confirmed by archaeological findings.
In the 15th century, the country was one of the first West African nations to have relations with European countries. Portuguese navigator Pedro de Sintra charted the hills surrounding Freetown Harbor in 1462, naming the area Serra da Leoa or Serra Leoa.
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During the American War of Independence, British involvement in Sierra Leone as a commercial port and a sanctuary for freed American slaves increased.
In 1787, Freetown was established as a place for repatriated former slaves, and the country was colonised by the British in the early 1800s. The colony was utilised as a base for enforcing the law after the British Parliament approved an act declaring the slave trade illegal in 1807.
The Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) gained local authority in 1953 after being founded in 1951. Sir Milton Margai of the SLPP won the most seats in the first parliamentary elections held in May 1957.
In April 1960, a series of discussions led to the country’s independence from the United Kingdom at midnight on 27 April 1961. This ended over 150 years of British colonial control.
During a ceremony at Brookfields Playground in Freetown, the Duke of Kent handed out royal documents establishing Sierra Leone as an independent nation, and the new flag was unfurled in front of applauding crowds.