June 4 – Emancipation and Revolution

Posted on June 4, 2017

Both Tonga and Ghana remember important historical anniversaries today. Can you figure out which country is connected to each event?

Revolution Day is a remembrance of a popular but violent 1979 uprising. The government was guilty of corruption and "bad governance." In other words, the government didn't do what governments are meant to do: that is, to insure law and order within a country, to provide protection from other countries, to promote economic opportunities, and to safeguard human rights. The uprising occurred because people within both the military and the country, generally, were really frustrated.

Do you think that Revolution Day is celebrated in Tonga or Ghana?

Emancipation Day is a remembrance of the 1862 emancipation of "serfs." Serfs were peasants or laborers who worked in agriculture - either farmers, or ranchers, or both. But they were bound to work on the land of one particular master, or lord, and most of the profit from their labors went to that master / lord. When the king of Tonga abolished the feudal system, the people who had been serfs would be more likely to be able to purchase their own land or to choose to work for a landowner who paid better or treated workers better.

By the way, June 4 is also the date of this nation's 1970 independence from Britain. Do you think that today's double holiday - Emancipation / Independence Day - is celebrated in Tonga or Ghana?

Here are some hints:

Ghana is a nation located in West Africa.

Tonga is an island nation located in Polynesia.

The inspiration for and resulting leader of the Revolution Day uprising was named Jerry John Rawlings.

The king who "freed the serfs" on Emancipation Day was named King George Tupou I.

This is a photo of the nation with a June 4 Revolution Day:
 This is a photo of the nation with a June 4 Emancipation Day:

Still hard?

Here are two more photos of the nation with a June 4 Revolution Day:

And here are two more photos of the nation with a June 4 Emancipation Day:

I bet you now realize that today is Revolution Day in Ghana, in Africa.

And it is Emancipation Day in Tonga, in the South Pacific.

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