Russia Constitution Day – see 4th November
Jamhuri Day (Kenya’s independence from UK, 1963) Hominids have lived here for about 2.5 million years. By the 1st century A.D. its coastline had been settled by Bantu people from West Africa who traded food and metal with other countries. Arabs moved in and introduced Islam. The Kilwa sultanate stretched from Tanzania along the whole Swahili-speaking coast, ruled by a Persian sultan. In the 17th century, the area was ruled by Omani Arabs and Portuguese began buying slaves from the area.
The Imperial British East Africa Company arrived in 1888, and had the Kenya-Uganda railway built. The Nandi people were given a ‘native reserve’ to stop them interrupting the railway’s progress. Lots of Indians were brought in to help with the building.
In WWI German East Africa became cut off from Germany but its leader, von Lettow, lived off the land and captured British supplies. Britain sent in an Indian army to chase him, but needed African porters to carry supplies – these were the Carrier Corps.
Later about 30,000 white settlers arrived in the highlands and became wealthy growing tea and coffee. Unfortunately there were already some native farmers there, so the settlers banned them from growing coffee and introduced a ‘hut tax’ to get rid of them.
In 1952 the Kikuyu began the Mau-Mau rebellion against the British but by 1959 their leader had been defeated. The Mau-Maus were killed or put in camps, and had their land confiscated.
On 12 December 1963 Kenya became independent.
Famous for: Wildife – Kenyan safaris and game reserves are home to the big five – elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo and rhinos.
The Treetops Hotel is where Queen Elizabeth II was staying when she found out her father had died and she was to be queen.
Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Mexico)
Turkmenistan Neutrality Day – see 19th February
Pennsylvania (1787): famous for being Dutch and Ben Franklin.