Palau’s Independence Day is every 1 October. This marks the date in the year 1994 when Palau became a fully independent nation, though still continuing strong relations with the United States.
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For some 3,000 years, there have been people living in what is now Palau, with the first settlers coming from the East Indies. During the 1700s, the UK gained influence in the area, while in the 1800s, the Spanish took control of the islands. In 1899, Spain sold Palau to the German Empire, but Germany lost the islands to Japan in the treaty ending World War I.
The USA took Palau from Japan during World War II, and the US made Palau a part of its Pacific Trust Territory in 1947. The long-term goal was to improve education and infrastructure in Palau until they were ready to govern themselves. In 1981, Palau’s people rejected the idea of becoming a part of the Federated States of Micronesia and instead signed an agreement with the US. This gave them a new constitution and allowed for full independence on 1 October 1994, which occurred right on schedule.
In modern Palau, Independence Day is easily one of the most celebrated holidays of the whole year. It is a day filled with history, culture, family fun, and seemingly endless feasting.