July 7 is Independence Day, celebrates the independence of Solomon Islands from the United Kingdom in 1978.
The islands have been inhabited for thousands of years. In 1568, the Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña was the first European to visit them, naming them the Islas Salomón.
Britain defined its area of interest in the Solomon Islands archipelago in June 1893, when Captain Gibson R.N., of HMS Curacoa (corvette of the Royal Navy, United Kingdom’s principal naval warfare force), declared the southern Solomon Islands as a British Protectorate with the proclamation of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate.
During World War II, the Solomon Islands campaign (1942–1945) saw fierce fighting between the United States and the Empire of Japan, such as in the Battle of Guadalcanal.
The official name of the then British overseas territory was changed from “the British Solomon Islands Protectorate” to “Solomon Islands” in 1975. Self-government was achieved in 1976. Independence was obtained two years later.
Solomon Islands is a sovereign country consisting of six major islands and over 900 smaller islands in Oceania lying to the east of Papua New Guinea and northwest of Vanuatu.