The first president of Marshall Islands, Amata Kabua, is honoured with a public holiday known as President’s Day on his birthday every 17 November.
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Kabua held office from 1979, when Marshall Islands first became independent, until 1996. Kabua began to be active in politics in 1963 when Marshall Islands was still under US control, and he was a leading proponent of the Marshall Islands independence movement from early on. He served four four-year terms as president following the achievement of independence.
After Amatu Kabua died in office in 1996, his cousin, Imata Kabua took up the reigns of power.
The influence Amatu Kabua had on Marshall Islands’ history is enormous, and in the land of his birth, he remains extremely popular to this day. His birthday, President’s Day, is observed with a solemn wreath laying ceremony at his tomb, a festive lunch held right after the ceremony, and by a speech given by the sitting president to honour the memory of Marshall Islands’ first president.