A kindergarten graduation in Santiago Island, Cape Verde. *Photo from Wikipedia
July 5 is Independence Day, celebrating the independence of Cape Verde from Portugal in 1975.
The Cape Verde archipelago was uninhabited until the 15th century, when Portuguese explorers discovered and colonized the islands, establishing the first European settlement in the tropics. Ideally located for the Atlantic slave trade, the islands grew prosperous throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, attracting merchants, privateers, and pirates.
The end of slavery in the 19th century led to economic decline and emigration. Cape Verde gradually recovered as an important commercial center and stopover for shipping routes.
Incorporated as an overseas department of Portugal in 1951, the islands continued to agitate for independence, which was peacefully achieved in 1975.
Cape Verde or Cabo Verde, officially the Republic of Cabo Verde, is an island country spanning an archipelago of 10 volcanic islands in the central Atlantic Ocean. Located 570 kilometers (350 mi) off the coast of Western Africa.
Historically, the name “Cape Verde” has been used in English for the archipelago and, since independence in 1975, for the country. In 2013, the Cape Verdean government determined that the Portuguese designation “Cabo Verde” would henceforth be used for official purposes, such as at the United Nations, even in English contexts.