Great Britain and the American colonies conducted a “Gregorian Correction” to the calendar in 1752. The day after September 2 became September 14. Angry mobs protested in the streets because they felt they lost eleven days. The country also changed New Year’s Day from March 25 to January 1. Most of Europe had adopted the Gregorian calendar almost two centuries earlier on October 4, 1582.
Qatar celebrates Independence Day. It declared its freedom from Great Britain in 1971. About the size of Connecticut, Qatar is now ruled by Sheik Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. The country obtains most of its income from oil and banking. Over two million people live in Qatar, and Doha is the capital. Children can learn more at: Qatar.
Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783. Great Britain and the United States signed the treaty, formally ending the Revolutionary War and recognizing the United States as an independent country. The negotiators for the United States were John Jay, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Laurens, and William Temple. Benjamin West’s painting Treaty of Paris (shown here) displays the five American negotiators. The painting was never completed because the British refused to be included. At least one copy of the treaty is housed in the National Archives. Children can read a transcript of the treaty at: Treaty of Paris.
Botswana celebrates Botswana Day, the day in 1966 when the United Kingdom gave up control of the country. This landlocked country in southern Africa is fairly prosperous. It is a leading producer of diamonds. Gold has also been found in the country. Because large herds of game still roam the country, tourism also brings in a great deal of revenue. Botswana, home to two million people, is a bit smaller than Texas. Gaborone is the capital. Children can learn more at: Botswana.
Uganda celebrates Independence Day. This African land-locked country became free from British rule in 1962. Slightly smaller than the state of Oregon, Uganda is home to almost 35 million people. Farmers comprise about 80 percent of the population, and coffee is one of its biggest exports. The capital is Kampala. Children can learn more at: Uganda.
War of Jenkins’ Ear began in 1739. The war began when a Spanish soldier cut off the ear of English officer Robert Jenkins. American colonial officers and soldiers fought for the British. The war somewhat ended in 1742, but politics swept up further events.
Zambia celebrates Independence Day. It was declared free of British control in 1964. The country, larger than Texas, is located in southern, central Africa. One of Zambia’s major industries is copper mining and processing. Over fourteen million people live in Zambia, and Lusaka is the capital. Older children can learn more at: Zambia.
George III became King of Great Britain in 1760. His actions probably contributed to the start of the Revolutionary War. At one point he almost abdicated. He experienced periods of dementia, and from 1811 until his death in 1820 the country was actually run by his son. Children could read Jean Fritz’s Can’t You Make Them Behave, King George?
Dominica celebrates Independence Day. Great Britain granted Dominica its independence in 1978. This small (about four times the size of Washington, DC) Caribbean island is located between Guadeloupe and Martinique. Around 70,000 people live among the rainforests and volcanic mountains. Known for its variety of amazing animals and plants (including bananas), the island is home to the world’s second-largest hot spring, Boiling Lake. Roseau is the capital. Older children can learn more at: Dominica.
Barbados celebrates Independence Day. It became free from Great Britain in 1966; however, it has remained in the British Commonwealth. This easternmost island in the Caribbean is 166 square miles, about 2.5 times the size of Washington, DC. In the colonial days the economy depended on sugarcane. Today, however, tourism is a big source of revenue. Almost 300,000 people live in Barbados, and close to half the population lives in Bridgetown, the capital. Older children could learn more at: Barbados.