Kiribati celebrates Independence Day. Formerly called the Gilbert Islands, this country became free of British rule in 1979. The 33 atolls, located in the Pacific Ocean, form a small country with an area about three times the size of Washington, DC. Over 100,000 people live on 21 inhabited atolls. Tarawa is the capital.
Vasco Nunez de Balboa claimed the Pacific Ocean and “all shores washed by it” for Spain in 1513. Idea: Children could look on a world map and find out just how big a territory Balboa really did claim.