Tuvaluan children. *Photo from Wikipedia
October 1 is Independence Day, celebrates the independence of Tuvalu from United Kingdom in 1978.
In 1568, Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña was the first European to sail through the archipelago.
In 1819, the name Ellice was applied to all nine islands after the work of English hydrographer Alexander George Findlay. The islands came under Britain’s sphere of influence in the late 19th century, when each of the Ellice Islands was declared a British Protectorate between October 9 and 16, 1892. The Ellice Islands were administered as British protectorate from 1892 to 1974.
A referendum was held in December 1974 to determine whether the Gilbert Islands and Ellice Islands should each have their own administration. As a consequence of the referendum, the Gilbert and Ellice Islands colony ceased to exist on January 1, 1976 and the separate British colonies of Kiribati and Tuvalu came into existence.
Tuvalu became fully independent within the Commonwealth on October 1, 1978.
Tuvalu, formerly known as the Ellice Islands, is a Polynesian island nation located in the Pacific Ocean, midway between Hawaii and Australia.