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Fourth of July: Independence travels well

July 04, 2012|By Chris Erskine | Los Angeles Times
  • Though the U.S. bid for freedom is marked today, many countries around the world have special dates as well.
Though the U.S. bid for freedom is marked today, many countries around the…

The United States may have led the way for many nations to declare independence from a colonial power, the 19th century seeing a flurry of such moves. But if you think our Independence Day has a long tradition, look at Switzerland, where independence dates back to 1291.

Here is a sampling of Independence Day dates from around the globe. Note how many other days of independence occurred in July:

Algeria, from France, July 5, 1962

Argentina, from Spain, July 9, 1816

Bahamas, from Britain, July 10, 1973

Belgium, from Netherlands, July 21, 1831

Cambodia, from France, Nov. 9, 1953

Colombia, from Spain, July 20 and Aug. 7, 1810

Cuba, from U.S., May 20, 1902

El Salvador, from Spain, Sept. 15, 1821

Fiji, from Britain, Oct. 10, 1970

Greece, from Ottoman Empire, March 25, 1821

Iraq, from Britain, Oct. 3, 1932

South Korea, from Japan, Aug. 15, 1945*

Switzerland, from Holy Roman Empire, Aug. 1291

Vietnam, from Japan and France, Sept. 2, 1945

*Independence declared March 1, but celebrated Aug. 15

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