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Aug 9, 2012

The Birth of A Nation - Singapore

Singapore's First National Day Parade on 9 August, 1966 at City Hall

 
How different is the birth of a nation to the birth of  a person?

Today, on 9th August 2012, as Singaporeans celebrate 47 years of sovereignty and independence, it is worthwhile to note that 47 years ago on this day, Singapore is not the oldest country in the world.

Singapore is still young and the  road to independence is written with  Singapore's National Day with  joy,  pomp and pageantry  at our National Day Parade for every Singaporean.  Especially the youngsters who look  forward to something new every year with excitement and happy memories for them to remember.

When I first remember my "First Trip To Singapore City in 1953" to watch fireworks display  at the Clifford Pier with my mother about 60 years ago for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

Here are the independence days for every country, from the oldest to the youngest...

660 BCE - Japan
221 BCE - China
301 CE - San Marino
843 CE - France
976 CE - Austria
10th Century CE - Denmark
1001 - Hungary
1143 - Portugal
1206 - Mongolia
1238 - Thailand
1278 - Andorra
August 1, 1291 - Switzerland
1419 - Monaco
15th Century - Spain
1502 - Iran
June 6, 1523 - Sweden
January 23, 1579 - Netherlands
1650 - Oman
May 1, 1707 - United Kingdom
January 23, 1719 - Liechtenstein
1768 - Nepal
July 4, 1776 - United States of America
January 1, 1804 - Haiti
July 20, 1810 - Colombia
Sept. 16, 1810 - Mexico
Sept. 18, 1810 - Chile
May 14, 1811 - Paraguay
July 5, 1811 - Venezuela
July 9, 1816 - Argentina
July 28, 1821 - Peru
Sept. 15, 1821 - Costa Rica
Sept. 15, 1821 - El Salvador
Sept. 15, 1821 - Guatemala
Sept. 15, 1821 - Honduras
Sept. 15, 1821 - Nicaragua
May 24, 1822 - Ecuador
Sept. 7, 1822 - Brazil
August 6, 1825 - Bolivia
August 25, 1825 - Uruguay
1829 - Greece
October 4, 1830 - Belgium
1839 - Luxembourg
February 27, 1844 - Dominican Republic
July 26, 1847 - Liberia
March 17, 1861 - Italy
July 1, 1867 - Canada
January 18, 1871 - Germany
May 9, 1877 - Romania
March 3, 1878 - Bulgaria
1896 - Ethiopia
June 12, 1898 - Philippines
January 1, 1901 - Australia
May 20, 1902 - Cuba
November 3, 1903 - Panama
June 7, 1905 - Norway
Sept. 26, 1907 - New Zealand
May 31, 1910 - South Africa
November 28, 1912 - Albania
December 6, 1917 - Finland
November 11, 1918 - Poland
December 1, 1918 - Iceland
August 19, 1919 - Afghanistan
December 6, 1921 - Ireland
February 28, 1922 - Egypt
October 29, 1923 - Turkey
February 11, 1929 - Vatican City
Sept. 23, 1932 - Saudi Arabia
October 3, 1932 - Iraq
November 22, 1943 - Lebanon
August 15, 1945 - Korea, North
August 15, 1945 - Korea, South
August 17, 1945 - Indonesia
Sept. 2, 1945 - Vietnam
April 17, 1946 - Syria
May 25, 1946 - Jordan
August 14, 1947 - Pakistan
August 15, 1947 - India
January 4, 1948 - Burma
February 4, 1948 - Sri Lanka
May 14, 1948 - Israel
July 19, 1949 - Laos
August 8, 1949 - Bhutan
December 24, 1951 - Libya
November 9, 1953 - Cambodia
January 1, 1956 - Sudan
March 2, 1956 - Morocco
March 20, 1956 - Tunisia
March 6, 1957 - Ghana
August 31, 1957 - Malaysia
October 2, 1958 - Guinea
January 1, 1960 - Cameroon
April 4, 1960 - Senegal
May 27, 1960 - Togo
June 30, 1960 - Congo, Republic of the
July 1, 1960 - Somalia
July 26, 1960 - Madagascar
August 1, 1960 - Benin
August 3, 1960 - Niger
August 5, 1960 - Burkina Faso
August 7, 1960 - Cote d'Ivorie
August 11, 1960 - Chad
August 13, 1960 - Central African Republic
August 15, 1960 - Congo, Dem. Rep. of the
August 16, 1960 - Cyprus
August 17, 1960 - Gabon
Sept. 22, 1960 - Mali
October 1, 1960 - Nigeria
November 28, 1960 - Mauritania
April 27, 1961 - Sierra Leone
June 19, 1961 - Kuwait
January 1, 1962 - Samoa
July 1, 1962 - Burundi
July 1, 1962 - Rwanda
July 5, 1962 - Algeria
August 6, 1962 - Jamaica
August 31, 1962 - Trinidad and Tobago
October 9, 1962 - Uganda
December 12, 1963 - Kenya
April 26, 1964 - Tanzania
July 6, 1964 - Malawi
Sept. 21, 1964 - Malta
October 24, 1964 - Zambia
February 18, 1965 - Gambia, The
July 26, 1965 - Maldives
August 9, 1965 - Singapore
May 26, 1966 - Guyana
September 30, 1966 - Botswana
October 4, 1966 - Lesotho
November 30, 1966 - Barbados
January 31, 1968 - Nauru
March 12, 1968 - Mauritius
Sept. 6, 1968 - Swaziland
October 12, 1968 - Equatorial
June 4, 1970 - Tonga
October 10, 1970 - Fiji
March 26, 1971 - Bangladesh
August 15, 1971 - Bahrain
Sept. 3, 1971 - Qatar
November 2, 1971 - United Arab Emirates
July 10, 1973 - Bahamas
Sept. 24, 1973 - Guinea-Bissau
February 7, 1974 - Grenada
June 25, 1975 - Mozambique
July 5, 1975 - Cape Verde
July 6, 1975 - Comoros
July 12, 1975 - Sao Tome and Principe
Sept. 16, 1975 - Papua New Guinea
November 11, 1975 - Angola
November 25, 1975 - Suriname
June 29, 1976 - Seychelles
June 27, 1977 - Djibouti
July 7, 1978 - Solomon Islands
October 1, 1978 - Tuvalu
November 3, 1978 - Dominica
February 22, 1979 - Saint Lucia
July 12, 1979 - Kiribati
October 27, 1979 - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
April 18, 1980 - Zimbabwe
July 30, 1980 - Vanuatu
January 11, 1981 - Antigua and Barbuda
Sept. 21, 1981 - Belize
Sept. 19, 1983 - Saint Kitts and Nevis
January 1, 1984 - Brunei
October 21, 1986 - Marshall Islands
November 3, 1986 - Micronesia, Federated States of
March 11, 1990 - Lithuania
March 21, 1990 - Namibia
May 22, 1990 - Yemen
April 9, 1991 - Georgia
June 25, 1991 - Croatia
June 25, 1991 - Slovenia
August 20, 1991 - Estonia
August 21, 1991 - Kyrgyzstan
August 24, 1991 - Russia
August 25, 1991 - Belarus
August 27, 1991 - Moldova
August 30, 1991 - Azerbaijan
Sept. 1, 1991 - Uzbekistan
Sept. 6, 1991 - Latvia
Sept. 8, 1991 - Macedonia
Sept. 9, 1991 - Tajikistan
Sept. 21, 1991 - Armenia
October 27, 1991 - Turkmenistan
November 24, 1991 - Ukraine
December 16, 1991 - Kazakhstan
March 3, 1992 - Bosnia and Herzegovina
January 1, 1993 - Czech Republic
January 1, 1993 - Slovakia
May 24, 1993 - Eritrea
October 1, 1994 - Palau
May 20, 2002 - East Timor
June 3, 2006 - Montenegro
June 5, 2006 - Serbia
February 17, 2008 - Kosovo
July 9, 2011 - South Sudan

It is difficult to answer the question, "What is the oldest country in the world?" for it is challenging to define whether an entity in ancient times would have been considered on par with a modern nation-state.

Certainly, numerous empires existed in the ancient world - in China, Japan, Persia, Greece, Rome, Egypt, Korea, Mexico, and India, just to name a few.

However, it would be difficult to consider many of these empire to meet our modern definition of nation-state. For the most part, these empires consisted of an agglomeration of city-states or fiefdoms.

These ancient empires were not the equivalent of the modern independent country, which really came into existence in the nineteenth century. Traditionally, three countries are often cited as "the world's oldest country," San Marino, Japan, or China.

By many accounts, San Marino, one of the world's smallest countries, is the world's oldest country. San Marino, which is completely surrounded by Italy, was founded on September 3 in the year 301 CE. San Marino's constitution is the world's oldest, having been first written in the year 1600.

Singapore's First National Day Parade on 9 August, 1966

The uniformed and non-uniformed contingents standing ready at the Padang.

Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew walking up the steps of the City Hall to celebrate independent Singapore's first National Day Parade on 9 August, 1966.



Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and his Cabinet standing in attention awaiting the arrival of the President.
President Yusof Ishak in the motorcade along St. Andrews Road towards the City Hall.
Minister of Defence Dr Goh Keng Swee welcome President Yusof Ishak to the National Day Parade on 9 August, 1966


The performance of the lion dance troupe at the Padang ended the celebration of the first National Day Parade.  The celebration was brought the march-past and floats to town and various parts of Singapore.

President Yusof Ishak leaving the City Hall after the successful completion of the parade.

The crowd at Queen Elizabeth Walk after the parade at the Padang., waiting to watch the firework display in the evening.
Singapore River  c 1966

One of the floats created by the People's Association along the roads in the evening for the people to enjoy.
Singapore's first National Day Parade held on 9 August,  1966 on the Padang, facing the steps of City Hall was a no-frill, simple memorable celebration compared to the spectacular, colorful and entertaining performance today's National Day Parade 2012 .

This personal blog to express to the memories of our nation's first National Day Parade celebration with photo courtesy of the National Archives of Singapore with thanks and acknowledgement to share with everyone to remember and contribute to the Singapore Memory portal for posterity. Thank you.



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2 Comments:

Blogger peter said...

During one of the dress rehersals for NDP 10/12 years ago at City Hall, my son was the "President of Singapore" for 1 day. He emerged from the car and went up to the dias to take the Guard of Honour salute...I think the words were "Hormat President, Hormat Senjata". He made a video clip of this.

August 11, 2012 at 5:22 PM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

Wonderful Peter. Pls post the video clip here to share with us. This is a personal historic moment and nostalgic memories for you, your family and friends to remember.

Thank you.

August 11, 2012 at 6:53 PM  

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