17th August

1908 the first animated cartoon, Fantasmagorie, shown – so make a flip-book

1959 Miles Davis ‘Kind of Blue’, bestselling jazz single of all time

1786 Davy Crockett born

San Martin Day (liberator of Argentina, Chile and Peru)

Gabon Independence Day: Gabon was originally inhabited by Pygmies then by Bantu-speakers.

They traded with Europeans from the 15th century; explorers became colonialists and in 1910 it became part of French Equitorial Africa.

Independence was kind of achieved in 1960, but the first dictator, M’ba, was heavily supported by France and since him the dictators have been a bit… dictatory. But they have oil and a low population.


Indonesian Independence Day (from Japan, 1945):

Indonesia is made up of about 17.500 islands. It was first inhabited 1.5 million years ago by a kind of human called the Java Man (Homo erectus).

42,000 years ago Homo sapiens arrived with boat-building, sailing and fishing skills.

Trade with India brought Buddhism and Hinduism from the 7th century; Islam came from the 13th century.

From 1512 Portugal and then the Netherlands came to monopolise trade.

The Dutch held on until the Japanese kicked them out in World War II, after which Indonesia claimed independence.

Becoming anti-Communist and therefore supported by the US, Indonesia has more recently become more democratic.

Try a wayang kulit (shadow puppets), badminton and football.


Esala Perahera starts (2015 – Sri Lankan Buddhist festival with decorated elephants)


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