July 26: The Maldives gain independence in 1965

Teresa Mathew
Compass

On this day—July 26, 1965—the Maldives gained independence from Britain. The Maldives, which would become the Republic of Maldives in 1968, are a group of islands found on top of the Chagos-Maldives-Laccadive Ridge, an underwater mountain range in the Indian Ocean. It had previously been under British control since 1887. The Republic of Maldives is composed of 26 atolls, or ring-shaped coral reefs, and 1,192 islands.

July 26 is celebrated in the Maldives as Independence Day, and is a national holiday. Official celebrations take place throughout the day, with a parade by the National Security Service and the National Cadet Corps. This is followed up by presentations, both modern and traditional, of dances and drills by hundreds of schoolchildren.