This Day in Black History: July 1, 1960

The country of Ghana becomes a republic. 

Posted: 07/01/2014 12:00 AM EDT

July 1, 1960 was a day of freedom and justice for Ghana, as its constitution went into full effect. Kwame Nkrumah was inaugurated as the republic's first president. On this day, annually, the country celebrates Republic Day to acknowledge the turning point in its political history. 

Previous to this historic moment, Ghana held elections to vote for their president on April 27, 1960. Nkrumah was the leader of the Convention People's Party formed in June 1949 by Nkrumah to push for the independence of the Gold Coast, Ghana's former colonial name.

Ghana gained independence from Britian's colonial rule in 1957, but was still a British commonwealth, until Ghana's Constituent Assembly voted to cut ties with monarch Queen Elizabeth II and to establish its own system of government on April 27, 1960.  

The West African country had been under the British rule as the Gold Coast since 1867.


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(Photo: Keystone/Getty Images)

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